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'Anyone could have created NotPetya malware' — Russian minister

The high-ranking official noted that anyone could produce the virus

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russia has not been involved in any way with devising or spreading the NotPetya malware, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov told reporters. However, there is a "Ukrainian trace" to this story, he believes.

The high-ranking official noted that anyone could produce this virus. "There were building blocks that were freely accessible, and it [the virus - TASS] was gathered and circulated. And the blame was pinned on us," Nikiforov explained.

"It was made up of two components that Western media call components of a cyber weapon designed by the NSA (the National Security Agency) that leaked to open sources prior to the virus creation," the minister added.

"We see no [Russian] footprint [here]… There is a Ukrainian footprint," he said, noting that the NotPetya virus circulated through M.E.Doc, a Ukrainian accounting software package.

On February 16, 2018, the White House stated that the Russian military organized a cyberattack in June 2017 with the use of the NotPetya virus that hit Europe, Asia and the Western Hemisphere and inflicted losses of billions of dollars.

On June 27, 2017, a virus that blocks data attacked dozens of energy, telecom and financial companies and organizations in Russia and Ukraine and then spread worldwide. The virus creators made users transfer money to them in exchange for unblocking access to information.