US Has Unilaterally Closed Channel of Communication With Russia on Cybersecurity, Moscow Says
14:12 GMT 07.04.2022 (Updated: 17:18 GMT 07.04.2022)
© AP Photo / Mel EvansA United States Military Academy cadet checks computers at the Cyber Research Center at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
© AP Photo / Mel Evans
Cybersecurity was one of the few areas where Russian and US officials managed to forge some progress in recent years. After his summit with Joe Biden in Geneva last summer, President Putin said it was "critically important" for the two nations to work together to "combine our efforts to fight cybercrime instead of barking at one another like dogs."
The United States has unilaterally shuttered the channel of communication created with Russia to discuss cybersecurity issues, Russian Security Council deputy secretary Oleg Khramov has said.
In an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Thursday, Khramov revealed that after Russian law enforcement successfully disbanded the REvil hacking group earlier this year, Moscow sent Washington proposals aimed at taking joint measures to protect both countries' critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
The nations had exchanged lists of critical internet infrastructure under the auspices of the Russian Security Council and the US National Security Council, with Khramov tapped as team leader for the Russian side.
"However, the White House has now notified us that it is unilaterally withdrawing from the negotiation process and closing this channel of communication," the official said.
Khramov also revealed that his US counterparts regularly leaked information regarding the cybersecurity channel, despite requests to the Russian side that it refrain from doing so.
"The Americans cannot even be trusted in this, although their motives are clear: the internal political struggle is escalating in the United States, the main enemy, judging by official documents, is Russia, so they want to demonstrate their dominance and not be exposed to criticism from opponents. In addition, it is very easy to demonstrate a 'position of power' and refer during the consultations to the 'opinion of the media' which they themselves have prepared, knowing in advance that there will be no confirmation of such publications. This is such a simple tactic," he said.
Khramov said US Cyber Command is now being actively pumped up with taxpayer money and planning for offensive, preemptive cyber operations against Russia, which are allowed for under its official doctrine.
Russia does not have such doctrinal documents, the official said, nor any "cyber bases" abroad like the US does - for example, the National Security Agency's facility in Hamburg, or NATO cyber operations centers in the Baltic countries.
3 November 2020, 23:47 GMT
Cyber False Flags
US officials, companies and media have spent the better part of the past decade accusing the Russian government and state-affiliated actors of engaging in a widespread series of hacking campaigns targeting everything from private companies and government agencies to election campaigns and even critical infrastructure. Moscow has broadly dismissed the accusations, citing a lack of evidence, refusals on the US's part to send information on its allegations to the Russian side, and the ease with which hack attacks can be faked using tools widely available to US intelligence agencies.
At the same time, Russia, China and other US adversaries have reported extensively on a series of large-scale cyberattacks against them. Last week, in response to allegations by Moscow that the US had conducted a massive cyberattack on Russia's critical infrastructure and network systems, a National Security Agency spokesman told The Hill that the US government "has not engaged in the activity described."
29 March 2022, 22:26 GMT