It has been reported this morning that Theresa May has cleared the way for a cyberattack on Russia as she challenged Vladimir Putin to explain how a powerful Russian nerve agent came to be used in an assassination attempt on British soil.
Amber Rudd, the home secretary, hinted at covert retaliation last week, saying: “You may not hear about it all but when we do see that there is action to be taken we will take it.” The deployment of malware is a likely option, a senior Whitehall source said yesterday. “Offensive cyber would be something in the arsenal. It would be considered or even likely [selected].” Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com commented below.
Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech.com:
“Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s comments, suggesting the UK is preparing for a cyberattack against Russia in the wake of the spy-poisoning scandal, are either borne out of political positioning and bluster, or act as a further demonstration that someone who knows little about the basics of encryption is woefully out of her depth where technology is concerned.
Personally, I think it must be the former, as surely no nation state would be so stupid that it would publicise an attack in advance, let alone comment on the manner in which it would likely be effected.
Not only could such a move be potentially perceived as an act of war, it would also invite retaliation from a nation that is likely far more equipped to disrupt the UK than the other way around.
So, all things considered, we best hope the UK government is as assured of the attribution behind this poisoning case as Russia will be if any offensive cyber moves are made against it in the coming months.”