LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/CNN) – The White House Thursday admitted Russia was behind a worldwide cyber-attack which shut down the Port of Los Angeles’ largest terminal for several days last June.
Beginning on June 27, the ransomware cyber-attack titled NotPetya, halted operations at the normally bustling APM Terminal, owned by Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk. It was shut down for three days, before reopening June 30.
In August, Maersk estimated the attack would cost the company up to $300 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
NotPetya initially targeted computers in Ukraine, but affected companies around the globe, like British advertising group WPP, Oreo maker Mondelez, drugmaker Merck and global shipping company FedEx.
In a statement Thursday, the White House lambasted Russia for “the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history” and said it “will be met with international consequences.”
Russia has repeatedly denied being behind the attack.
The ransomware attack hit businesses and government agencies in at least six European countries, including Ukraine, and spread to computers in the United States, India and Australia.
In September, FedEx attributed a $300 million loss to the attack, and the company’s subsidiary TNT Express had to suspend business.
Ukraine was the first to report these attacks, where the power grid and Chernobyl nuclear power plant were affected. Banks, airports, hospitals and grocery stores across Europe were hit.
“It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict,” said the statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
The attack, according to the White House’s statement, caused “billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”
Earlier on Thursday, the British government released a statement on the attack, calling out Russia for its actions.
“The destructive attack masqueraded as ransomware, but its purpose was principally to disrupt,” the UK government said in a statement.
The statement from British officials also said the actions “will not be tolerated.”
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