White House blasts Russia for NotPetya cyberattack

Presidents and the American economy
Presidential policies certainly play a role in the state of the US economy, but the chief occupant of the White House often gets credit when things are good and blame when they're bad. That's especially true during the first year, when the effect of any new policy is hard to measure. Here are the key economic indicators after one year in office for Presidents Carter through Trump. (Source: CNN)

The White House lambasted Russia in a statement Thursday for “the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history” and said it “will be met with international consequences.”

The attack, titled NotPetya, initially targeted computers in Ukraine last year but affected companies around the globe, like British advertising group WPP, Oreo maker Mondelez, drugmaker Merck and global shipping company FedEx.

“It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict,” said the statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

The attack, according to the White House’s statement, caused “billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”

Earlier on Thursday, the British government had released a statement on the attack, calling out Russia for its actions.

“The destructive attack masqueraded as ransomware, but its purpose was principally to disrupt,” the UK government said in a statement.

The statement from British officials also said the actions “will not be tolerated.”

The cyberattack took place in June 2017, and CNN previously reported that it was similar to WannaCry, including how it required victims to pay in bitcoin in order to retrieve files.

In September, FedEx attributed a $300 million loss to the attack, and the company’s subsidiary TNT Express had to suspend business.