The Russian security service FSB has targeted British MPs from both parties and several public figures, British Foreign Office Assistant Secretary Leo Docherty told the House of Commons, according to British media.
Docherty singles out a group of fraudsters calling themselves “Star Blizzard” for various “phishing” attacks in which they contact their targets and pretend to be someone they trust in order to click on fraudulent links and extract information.
– They target public officials, journalists and civil society. They target high-profile individuals and organizations with a clear objective: to use the information they find to influence British politics, says Leo Docherty.
The attacks have reportedly been going on since at least 2015.
“The panel has selectively leaked information it found in its operations and reinforced those leaks in line with Russia’s goal of creating conflict, including undermining confidence in politicians in the UK and like-minded states.” declares UK National Cyber Security Authority.
In 2018, a British government-sponsored think tank was hacked to counter disinformation, which was then portrayed in Russian state media as biased towards British domestic politics and hostile to Russia.
After that, confidential documents of trade negotiations between the United States and Great Britain were leaked, which also attracted much attention.
According to the British Foreign Office, “documents have been leaked as a result of some attacks”, but attempts to influence British politics and democratic dialogue have also reportedly failed.
“Russia’s attempts to interfere in British politics are completely unacceptable and are intended to threaten our democratic process,” declared Foreign Secretary David Cameron.
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