Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he presents the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists in Novosibirsk on February 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Sputnik / Alexey NIKOLSKY
The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed as “groundless” warnings from Britain and the United States that Russian state-sponsored hackers were threatening their crucial computer networks.
“We don’t know what these new accusations are based on,” said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“As before, neither our American nor our British colleagues have bothered to search for arguments, even weak ones,” he said during a regular briefing.
Peskov added that the claims were “groundless” and “unjustified”.
Washington and London said in a joint statement Monday that Russia’s hacking operation aimed “to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations”.
The US Department of Homeland Security said the hacking was part of a broad operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe, which DHS says comprises concerting cyber attacks by Moscow’s civilian and military intelligence agencies.
The announcement came in an unprecedented joint alert that underscored closer cooperation between Western governments fighting what they say is an ongoing, multi-faceted hacking and online disinformation campaign by Moscow.