A CYBER attack on the British Defense Academy – possibly by Russia or China – caused “significant” damage, a senior officer revealed.

Air Marshal Edward Stringer, who left the armed forces in August, said the attack, which was discovered in March 2021, forced the Defense Academy to rebuild its network.

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The Department of Defense building on Horse Guards Avenue in LondonPhoto credit: Getty
A cyber attack on the UK Defense College caused “significant” damage

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A cyber attack on the UK Defense College caused “significant” damagePhoto credit: Getty
It is believed that Russia could be behind the cyber attack

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It is believed that Russia could be behind the cyber attackCredit: AP

He said he didn’t know if criminals or a hostile state like China, Russia, Iran or North Korea were responsible, but the damage was fully repaired months later.

Mr Stringer told Sky News, “It could be one of them, or it could just be someone trying to pinpoint a vulnerability for a ransomware attack that was just, you know, a real criminal organization.”

He added, “There was a cost to … the operational performance. There was an opportunity cost to what our employees could have done when they needed to repair that damage.

“And what could we spend the money we had to raise to rebuild the network? There are no bodies on the streets, but some damage has still been done.”

Sky reported that no sensitive information was stored in the academy’s network.

Based in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, the school teaches 28,000 military personnel, diplomats and civil servants annually and has moved more online during the pandemic.

In his first since retiring from the military, Mr. Stringer said “unusual activity” was first spotted by contractors working for outsourcing company Serco and “alarm bells” began to ring.

He said there were “outside agents on our network who looked like they were there for nefarious reasons pretty quickly”.

However, he announced that the attack was unsuccessful, and while the hackers may have used the academy as a “back door” to other Department of Defense (MoD) systems, there were no violations outside of the school.

Mr Stringer – who was also director general for Joint Forces Development and led the military to reflect on how it would adapt to the future of warfare – said the attack fell into what is known as a gray area of ​​damage, which is below the threshold of war located.

The site, which resembles a university domain, had to be completely rebuilt, a task that is still ongoing.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center, a branch of the GCHQ, was also made aware of the hack.

Sky reported that a Department of Defense spokesman said, “In March 2021, we became aware of an incident affecting the Defense Academy’s IT infrastructure. We acted quickly and there was no continued impact on the Department of Defense’s broader IT network. “

Back in July The Russian hacker REvil asked for a ransom of $ 70 million in Bitcoin for a decryption key following a cyber attack targeting 1,000 US companies.

The break that the. was biggest ransomware attack It has reportedly hit the IT systems of up to 1 million companies around the world by cracking the systems of the US software company Kaseya.

Among other things, a school in New Zealand and the Swedish grocery chain Coop were affected. as well as two large Dutch IT companies.

And in November Google warns of cyberattacks Led by Russian hackers targeting Gmail users.

Cyber ​​security companies are showing how hackers can use your PRINTER to access your Gmail when a new cybersecurity threat arises

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