The U.K. government publicly accused Russia of carrying out the June 2017 NotPetya ransomware attacks in June 2017 as part of a deliberate attack on the Ukraine state.
The decision to publically blame the Kremlin for the attack was made on the grounds that the government will not tolerate "malicious cyber activity" Foreign Office Minister of Cybersecurity Lord Tariq Ahmad said according to The Daily Telegraph.
"The U.K. government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber attack," Ahmad said.
Furthermore, the Foreign Office minister said the attack showed a continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty and that the malware's reckless release disrupted organizations across Europe costing hundreds of millions of pounds and positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West.
Russia has denied the claims and said they are ill founded. "We categorically dismiss such accusations; we consider them unsubstantiated and groundless,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said according to the BBC. “It's not more than a continuation of the Russophobic campaign which is not based on any evidence."
The accusations come less than a month after British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Russian cyberattacks on critical infrastructure could kill thousands.