White House: Merck and others hit by NotPetya were collateral damage in Russia’s cyberwar on the Ukraine
Government officials in the US and UK say they are now certain they know who launched the NotPetya cyberwar that slammed operations at Merck and a number of US companies.
The Russian military did it.
In a short but blunt statement on the White House home page, the government says that the Russians aimed NotPetya at its opponents in the Ukraine in a clear assault that quickly jumped national borders and ran amuck, causing vast damage around the world. One of the companies that was hardest hit, at least partially with the help of leaked NSA hacking tech, was Merck.
Last fall Merck execs conceded that the NotPetya cyber attack had cost the company $135 million in lost sales along with $175 million in related costs while forcing them to borrow $240 million worth of Gardasil from federal stockpiles. That extra $310 million in costs, they added, would be repeated in Q4 as overall damages rolled up to the $1 billion mark.
Here’s the full statement from the White House, where President Donald Trump has repeatedly dissed evidence that the Russians interfered in the presidential election with a special online attack that security officials warn will be repeated this year.
In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history.
The attack, dubbed “NotPetya,” quickly spread worldwide, causing billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict. This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.