Eastern Europe witnessed a massive Petya ransomware attack last week. Researchers are now speculating that the strike could be a politically motivated cyber attack. NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) reportedly stated that the attack was carried out by a group with state approval.
If the speculations turn out to be true, the cyberattack will be deemed as an act of war. This will indeed force NATO allies to respond to the attack.
Tomáš Minárik, a researcher at the CCD COE law branch stated in a press release, "As important government systems have been targeted, then in case the operation is attributed to a state this could count as a violation of sovereignty. Consequently, this could be an internationally wrongful act, which might give the targeted states several options to respond with countermeasures."
Meanwhile, Central Ukrainian Institutes took a major hit from the blow of Petya ransomware. Reports suggest that cyber criminals were not involved in the attack. "The operation was not too complex, but still complex and expensive enough to have been prepared and executed by unaffiliated hackers for the sake of practice. Cyber criminals are not behind this either, as the method for collecting the ransom was so poorly designed that the ransom would probably not even cover the cost of the operation."
Ukraine already has reasons to believe that Russia was behind the attack. Ukrainian state security service has alleged that the attack was carried out by the same hackers who took down Ukraine's power grid last year.
It is yet uncertain if NATO will take action or not, but if it does there certainly will be a turmoil in the cyber world.