The United States has sanctioned a Russian research institute over development of what the U.S calls a dangerous malware. This malware is said to have the ability of causing catastrophic industrial damage.
The institute is called Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics, it also has a Russian acronym TsNIIKhM. Additionally the institute is backed by the Russian government. Following the sanctioning, the Russian government termed the move by the U.S as an illegitimate one.
The U.S. Treasury Department said the research institute was responsible for development of customized tools which enabled an attack on an unidentified petrochemical facility in based in the Middle East three years ago.
The attack was one of its kind, unlike other digital attacks which steal data with an aim of getting ransom, this one was aimed on causing physical damages to the facility by disabling its safety system.
A cyber security expert, who discovered the software involved Nathan Brubaker, said the aim of the attack was a different one than what happens mostly since disabling the safety systems would cause dangerous outcomes in the facility such as fire and explosions.
Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, took on social media accusing U.S on being one sided further urging them to stop making unfounded accusations.
“We emphasize once again the illegitimacy of any one-sided restrictions. Russia, unlike the United States, does not conduct offensive operations in cyber domain. We call on the United States to abandon the vicious practice of unfounded accusations,” posted the ambassador.