Kremlin adviser on cybersecurity says Russia is getting tired of allegations without any evidence or investigation
Moscow on Wednesday dismissed allegations that Russian hackers helped spark the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, after CNN reported that U.S. officials believed they planted a false news story.
“We’re getting tired of reacting to unsubstantiated banalities,” Andrei Krutskikh, a Kremlin adviser on cybersecurity, told the Interfax news agency. “Whatever happens it is hackers. It’s a stale claim and as ever there is zero evidence, and conclusions are drawn before the incident is even investigated,” he said.
CNN reported on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar. FBI experts visited Qatar in late May to analyze an alleged cyber breach that saw the hackers place the fake story with Qatar’s state news agency, the U.S. broadcaster said.
The report included comments from the emirate’s ruler that seemed friendly to Israel and Iran and cast doubt on how long U.S. President Donald Trump would remain in office. Saudi Arabia then cited the false item as part of its reason for instituting a diplomatic and economic blockade against Qatar, the report said.
Russian hackers are currently at the center of international attention after allegations the Kremlin launched cyberattacks aimed at swaying the U.S. presidential vote last year. Moscow has repeatedly denied it was behind hacking attacks against the U.S. and a raft of other alleged cyber breaches abroad.