Media: Russian IT company was behind the Bad Rabbit computer virus attack

Cyberattacks on the websites and computer network of Interfax, which almost "turned off" most of the news flows for more than a day, was conducted by a "Russian institution directly related to the development and dissemination of information," a source from the agency told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Interfax specialists say that the nature, intensity and degree of coordination of the virus attack prove that the real purpose of the perpetrators was not to obtain a ransom worth a few bitcoins, but to demonstrate their ability to destroy the communications of large media or an attempt to exert pressure to achieve some other goals.

The agency’s computer security experts pointed out that just a few minutes after the final infiltration of the Bad Rabbit virus into the internal network, Interfax servers experienced a powerful distributed denial of service or DDoS attack that generated millions of requests could completely halt the operation of the information services system.

"It was clearly the second stage of a cyber-attack that only failed because most of the infected terminals were turned off and the servers were transferred to protection mode," the source noted. The executive director of Interfax, Vladimir Gerasimov confirmed that the agency's management is ready to share their suspicions with law enforcement agencies.

Gerasimov recalled that relating to this attack, an application was filed with the Directorate for Internal Affairs of the Central Administrative District and a criminal case was initiated regarding the incident under section 273 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Earlier, Yury Pogorely, the Deputy Director General of Interfax said in an interview with Business FM, "It's perfectly clear now. The goal of these people was not to get some ransom, but to stop our work. We observed attempts to penetrate our systems from one of the Russian IT companies. Perhaps this is a coincidence, but, perhaps not.”

“Given that Interfax in accordance with the law on personal data is the operator, we spent millions of dollars to create so-called protected circuits. That is a kind of information capsule for our systems. But there were attempts to break even into them. It was, of course, a professionally staged attack, which was disguised as some simple hackers trying to get their free bitcoins."

The maximum penalty in accordance with part 1 of section 273 is 4 years of imprisonment. It used to be one of the most rarely used articles of the Criminal Code. Over the past 10 years, however, the number of people sentenced to real prison terms in Russia under this section is steadily growing and amounts to more than a hundred people a year, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

  cyber attack, Russia, Interfax, Bad Rabbit