The UK said on Thursday that Russia remains the “most acute threat” to its national security.
“UK shares US concerns about a continuing pattern of Russian malign activity,” said a British government statement, which was also shared by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Twitter.
“UK attributes Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) was behind SolarWinds compromise,” it added.
The UK statement followed the US decision to expel 10 Russian diplomats for alleged 2020 US presidential election interference and hacking.
The Biden administration on Thursday announced an executive order blacklisting six Russian technology companies in response to a cyberattack of SolarWinds that affected the US government agencies.
A total of 32 entities and individuals were also sanctioned by the US for their attempts to interfere in the US presidential election and other acts of disinformation.
The British statement said: “The UK and US are today calling out Russia for carrying out the SolarWinds compromise, part of a wider pattern of activities by the Russian Intelligence Services against the UK and our allies.”
“Russia’s pattern of malign behaviour around the world – whether in cyberspace, in election interference or in the aggressive operations of their intelligence services – demonstrates that Russia remains the most acute threat to the UK’s national and collective security.”
The statement also said that the UK, alongside its international partners, will continue to “defend against Russia’s attempts to destabilise our societies.”
“We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies,” Raab said.
He added: “The UK and US are calling out Russia’s malicious behaviour, to enable our international partners and businesses at home to better defend and prepare themselves against this kind of action.”
The statement noted the UK will continue to “work with allies to call out Russia’s malign behaviour where we see it.”
It said the UK can today also reveal for the first time that “Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) was behind a series of cyber intrusions, including the SolarWinds compromise.”
The UK Government Communication Headquarters’ National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) assessed that it is highly likely the SVR was responsible for gaining unauthorised access to SolarWinds “Orion” software and subsequent targeting, according to the statement.
“These incidents are part of a wider pattern of cyber intrusions by the SVR who have previously attempted to gain access to governments across Europe and NATO members.”
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