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Moscow slams US ransomware attack claims

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Russia rejected US accusations that a Russia-based group was behind a ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

Photo: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

MOSCOW – Russia on Tuesday rejected US accusations that a Russia-based group was behind a ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

“We categorically reject the baseless fabrications of individual journalists and reiterate that Russia does not conduct ‘malicious’ activity in the virtual space,” the Russian embassy in the United States said in a statement.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden said there was no evidence of Russian government involvement in the cyber attack on the US fuel pipeline but said there were indications the ransomware was “in Russia.”

“They have some responsibility to deal with this,” he said.

The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.

The Russian diplomatic mission said Moscow had repeatedly advocated dialogue with Washington on international information security issues.

It said that last year the embassy suggested that the United States directly contact the Russian National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents to address such issues.

“At the moment, the embassy has no information about requests for assistance from the American side,” it said in the statement posted on its Facebook page.

Agence France-Presse