The Information and Security Committee of the United Kingdom Parliament (ISC) said in a report that Russia 's ability to carry out cyber-attacks, but above all its willingness to do so, make it a "Immediate and urgent threat" for the national safety of the country. In particular, the report noted how the United Kingdom views them possibilities of Russia to carry out malicious activities related to cyberspace, in order to advance its goals, emphasizing that this is a rather serious and worrying issue, given that Russia's activities endanger the national security of the country. The ISC also accuses Russia, among other things, of interfering in other countries' elections, as well as collaborating with organized crime groups, with the aim of strengthening its own internal cyber skills.
The report also warned that hackers of Russia have acquired access in critical national infrastructure of other countries, which could later be used as a means of disrupting. In addition, the report noted that Russia had launched a cyber attack on critical UK infrastructure, with the affected areas still under investigation.
According to the report, Russia has tried to conduct and Phishing attacks on government agencies, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, and has recently been accused of trying to crack down on vaccine companies COVID-19. He added that given the immediate threat to Russia's national security posed by Russia's stance, there are concerns in the country that there is no clear coordination of the many intelligence-gathering organizations working to deal with the pandemic.
However, the report noted that the government is taking a new approach to dealing with these attacks, which includes identifying and holding the perpetrators behind them. While the United Kingdom was reluctant to render the cyber attacks to a specific foreign power, the committee considers that reporting cyber-attackers is the right move, as there must be a cost to any malicious activity.
The report also cited other digital tools used by Russia as part of its broader efforts for misinformation and political influence, such as the use of robots and trolls, which are used to promote a particular concept or to create a disturbance. Another technique to which the report refers is Hack and leak, used in the presidential election of USA the 2016.
According to a widespread perception, Russia was responsible for a similar attack that took place during the French presidential election in 2017. Russia, for its part, denied any involvement in these events. The British embassy in Russia has recently stated that Russia has never and will not interfere in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom, especially in the context of democratic elections. However, the United Kingdom was slow to respond to the change in Russian strategy. Only when Russia completed the "hack and leak" operation against the Democratic National Committee in the US - with the stolen e-mail to be made public one month after its referendum EU - it seems that the government "belatedly" realized the level of threat that Russia could pose in this area, the report said.