Russia says foreign spies plotted huge cyber attack

MOSCOW • Russia yesterday said it had uncovered plans by foreign intelligence services to carry out massive cyber attacks this month targeting the country's financial system. The FSB security service said in a statement that it had received information on "plans by foreign secret services to carry out large-scale cyber attacks from Dec 5".

It said the planned attacks were aimed at "destabilising Russia's financial system, including the activities of a number of major banks".

The FSB said it was taking "the necessary measures" to "neutralise the threats to Russia's economic and information security".

The Moscow-based security giant Kaspersky last month said a massive cyber attack had hit at least five of Russia's largest banks.

Kaspersky said those attacks used devices located in 30 countries, including the United States.

Russia's largest lender, state-controlled Sberbank, acknowledged it had been hacked but said its operations had not been interrupted.

Russia has been blamed for several major hacking operations, with Washington in October formally accusing Moscow of trying to "interfere" in the 2016 White House race with online attacks hitting US political institutions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said cyber attacks from Russia have become so common they were now a "part of daily life". The British intelligence agency MI5 has also warned that Russia is using cyber attacks to promote its foreign policy abroad.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Russia says foreign spies plotted huge cyber attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe