London, Oct 4: Accusing the Russian military intelligence of launching a worldwide campaign for 'indiscriminate and reckless' cyber attacks, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement that the country's National Cyber Security Centre had found that a number of hackers whose cyber attacks were believed to have cost the global economy millions of dollars, were in fact carried out by the Russian GRU intelligence service operatives.
Both the British and Australian governments have levelled allegations of the cyber attack on Russia, including the hacking of the US Democratic National Committee in 2016, a report in the CNN said.
"The GRU's actions are reckless and indiscriminate, they try to undermine and interfere in election processes in other countries, they were even prepared to damage Russian companies and Russian citizens," Hunt said in the statement.
"This pattern of behaviour shows their desire to operate without any regard for the international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences."
British and Australian authorities referred to a series of high profile cyber attacks as being carried out by GRU-backed hackers, including the attacks on the servers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, in the run-up to the US presidential election.
A 2017 ransomware attack that disturbed the operations at a metro in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and the city of Odessa, as well as the release of restricted files of international athletes which were stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency, instances quoted by the countries.
"These cyber attacks serve no legitimate national security interest, instead impacting the ability of people around the world to go about their daily lives free from interference, and even their ability to enjoy sport," Hunt said.
According to a separate statement, the Australian government said that as per the advice from Australia's intelligence agency and discussions with its allies, it had ascertained that Russian military and the GRU were behind the attacks.
"While Australia was not significantly impacted, this activity affected the ability of the public in other parts of the world to go about their daily lives," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a joint statement.
Though the Russian leaders have denied such claims in the past, including the allegations that it interfered in the US elections of 2016, there was no official response from Kremlin on this issue.
Russia did attempt to meddle in the presidential elections, a report in the CNN added, quoting US intelligence community.
The relations between Russia and UK continue to remain tense after reports of the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury, emerged recently. GRU was accused by the UK authorities of being behind the poisoning of Skripal. (UNI)