Will Britain Launch Cyberattack On Russia?

Will Britain Launch Cyberattack On Russia?
Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in a critical condition in hospital.

Moscow must explain by the end of Tuesday why a Russian-made nerve agent was used in the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

The prime minister said it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire, last Sunday, reports the BBC.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it appeared the "really egregious act... clearly came from Russia" and there should be "serious consequences."

Moscow called the claims "unfounded."

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will chair a meeting of the government's emergencies committee Cobra later to discuss the case.

Former double agent Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury city centre. They remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

May told the Commons on Monday that the poison used in the attack was a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia. She said it was part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok.

"Either this was a direct action by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others," she said.

May said the government would not accept such an attempt to "murder innocent civilians on our soil."

She will decide on a range of sanctions over the next 24 hours after urgent talks with Nato, the United Nations, EU and US, according to the Daily Mail.

The Prime Minister will also draw up a secret package of measures against Russia which will never be revealed.

This could include targeting the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Whitehall sources said yesterday they were accelerating their offensive cyber programme and could hit select targets for a specific effect, according to the Daily Mail.

It is understood this could see a specialist cyber unit deployed in the UK to attack Kremlin computer networks spewing Russian propaganda and trolling factories spreading fake news.

Image credit: Facebook and BBC