The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has said that Russia was responsible for the SolarWinds cyber attack late in 2020.
It claimed it is part of a pattern of malign behaviour around the world that operates in cyber space, election interference and the aggressive operations of intelligence service.
This follows warnings last December by SolarWinds, a network management software company, that its Orion monitoring network had been subject to a sophisticated supply chain attack that was likely conducted by an outside nation state.
The company has listed a range of UK public sector agencies among its clients, including several NHS trusts, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Justice, HM Government Communications Centre and Royal Air Force, Defence Equipment and Support.
FCDO said the overall impact on the UK was low, but added that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has assessed it is highly likely Russia’s foreign intelligence services were responsible for the compromise of the software.
It has published details of cyber space activities by Russia’s civilian foreign intelligence service the SVR since 2011, culminating in the SolarWinds attack.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies. The UK and US are calling out Russia’s malicious behaviour, to enable our international partners and businesses at home to better defend and prepare themselves against this kind of action.
“The UK will continue to work with allies to call out Russia’s malign behaviour where we see it.”
Image from iStock, solarseven