Brussels creates special office for monitoring the ‘Russian threat’ on the internet

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Belgium’s General Intelligence and Security Service has set up an office to monitor Russian and Chinese cyber threats, the country’s parliamentary defense commission said in a report.

The Defense Committee session was held in June, but the report on the outcome of the session was released on Friday.

“As for the Russian cyber-threat, the Ministry of Defense General Information and Security Service hired an official in charge of a non-permanent working group … China’s activities are also being monitored,” said the committee’s service representative, the report.

In addition, Brussels has developed a plan to recruit civilian and military experts to strengthen the country’s cyber security, which will be submitted to the Defense Minister’s consideration shortly, according to the report.

Russia has been repeatedly accused of cyberattacks. Moscow, however, refutes the accusations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the West has no grounds for its unfounded allegations.

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The White House also accused the Russian military of being responsible for the cyberattack “NotPetya” – which hit mainly Ukrainian sites in June 2017.

Washington said in a statement that the goal was to “destabilize Ukraine” and that there will be “international consequences” caused by the alleged action by Moscow. The United Kingdom also accused Russia of being responsible for NotPetya.

“We categorically reject such accusations, we consider it unfounded and unproven. This is nothing more than the continuation of the Russophobia campaign without evidence,” Russian President Dmitry Peskov’s spokesman said in a statement.

The cyber attack called for ransoms of up to $300 to free the computer from infected victims. Experts also pointed out that there has been destruction of sites.

According to digital security company ESET, 80% of NotPetya’s attacks targeted Ukraine. The second most targeted country was Germany, with 9%.

In January 2018, the CIA accused the GRU (Central Intelligence Department of Russia) of having designed NotPetya. At the time, Moscow denied the allegations, pointing out that Russian systems were also targeted and the attack cost Russian companies an estimated $ 1.2 billion.

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