20:39 GMT09 August 2020
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    Russian and US experts should swiftly begin a dialogue on joint actions to tackle cybercrime, the latest large-scale virus attack proved the need to join global efforts, Andrey Krutskikh, Ambassador at Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, the Kaspersky Lab company registered about 45,000 ransomware attacks in 74 countries worldwide, with the largest number of targets located in Russia. On Sunday, Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright noted that as the malware continued to spread over the weekend, 200,000 users in 150 countries have been affected.

    "This was an attack showing the capabilities of global cybercrime and cyberterrorism, so it is necessary [for representatives of Russia and the Unites States] to meet immediately and develop retaliatory measures against cyber-ISIL [Daesh, terrorist group, banned in Russia], instead of looking for the ones at fault in the US presidential campaign," Krutskikh, who is also the special representative of the Russian president for international cooperation in information security, said.

    According to the Russian official, dealing with such challenges is not solely the responsibility of Russia and the United States.

    "These should be the joint efforts of everyone who is able to do so, against the global cyberthreat in the form of cyber-ISIL, cybercrime. Russia and the United States should show the world the way," he said.

    The Russian official also urged the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to focus on the threat to the global cybersecurity instead of accusing Russia in meddling in the US presidential election.

    “It is much more important for the CIA to concentrate on the recent global cyberattack, which affected more than 200,000 users from 150 countries … if someone wants to finally establish the truth and provide security for its country and users, then it is better to cooperate and talk instead of throwing groundless accusations.  The CIA, in this case, does not nurture its national security, but instead, it is undermining the US negotiating positions on such an important matter,” Krutskikh underlined.

    On Tuesday, CIA spokesman Heather Fritz Horniak said that the involvement of Russian intelligence services in hacking related to the US elections is an "established fact."

    Russia has repeatedly denied US claims it meddled in the US election process, calling them absurd. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not have official contacts with Trump's team during the presidential campaign.

    A malicious software called WannaCry affected, among other institutions and organizations, the UK public health system NHS, the German state rail company Deutsche Bahn, the Russian Interior Ministry and banks. The virus blocked computers with messages flashing on the screen demanding money to remove the restriction.

    cybercrime, cyberattack, WannaCry virus, Daesh, Kaspersky Lab, United States, Russia
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