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Former GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan told attendees at InfoSec Europe that Russia may well be live testing cyberattacks hinting that even the recent VPNFilter backdoor that affecting 500,000 routers worldwide may have been one such experiment.

Hannigan called Russia a great threat and cited NotPetya and the attacks on Ukraine's power grid as evidence that the nation is more than willing to launch damaging cyberattacks, the UK Register reported. He had no evidence the VPNFilter attack was, in fact, a test run by Russia, but Hannigan noted it certainly fit the description of such a live test.

Russia presents a greater threat in terms of sophistication and a greater overall danger – not least because it doesn't mind being destructive, Hannigan warned. The destructive element of attacks blamed on Russia includes NotPetya and attacks on the Ukrainian power grid.

“It's unclear if that was a mistake or an experiment," Hannigan said. "Russia seems to be live testing things in cyber, as it has been [on the ground] in Syria, but it's a doctrine we don't fully understand,” The Register reported.

Hannigan went so far as to tell the crowd it appears as if the UK is currently in an undeclared cyberwar with Russia.