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Russia repels cyber attack on financial systems: FSB

After months of foreign hacking accusations, Russia has now said its own financial system was targeted by a cyber attack. The breach allegedly originated on servers based in the Netherlands.

Russia's security agency thwarted a cyber attack aimed at destabilizing the country's financial system, according to the agency's statement Friday.

The Federal Security Service (FSB), said unnamed attackers planned to flood Russian social networks with comments and send mass text messages with false comments warning of the imminent collapse of major banks and financial systems in the country.

 The FSB received information on "plans by foreign secret services to carry out large-scale cyberattacks from December 5," it said in a statement.

It said the attacks would originate from computer servers in the Netherlands owned by Ukrainian company BlazingFast, based in Kiev.

The director of the company, Anton Onopriychuk, told AFP it provides "services for protection against cyberattacks, not for attacks."

"As yet no one has contacted us about this, neither the FSB or clients," he said, adding that they would investigate.

The FSB said would allegedly target several Russian cities and it was taking "the necessary measures" to "neutralize the threats to Russia's economic and information security."

It said that "provocative publications" about a crisis in the Russian banking system were planned to appear on social media networks, blogs and mobile phone text messages.
The US Government accused Russia of using cyber attacks to interfere with its election, accusations Moscow denied. German politicians warned of similar attacks in its upcoming elections.

Two people in Ukraine, believed to be in control of the 900,000 hacked devices that formed the massive "AVALANCHE" botnet, were arrested as part of a series of police raids in 10 countries, German authorities announced on Thursday. German leaders hinted at Russian involvement.

Two weeks ago the destructive computer virus "Shamoon" was used by unidentified international hackers to launch a cyber attack on networks of government bodies and organizations, multiple US security firms said on Thursday.

aw/kl (AP, Reuters)

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