Conti Ransomware Group Warns Retaliation if West Launches Cyberattack on Russia

Conti said it condemns the ongoing war but will "strike back if the well being and safety of peaceful citizens will be at stake."

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Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Ukrainian military vehicles move past Independence Square in central Kyiv on Feb. 24.

Daniel Leal/Getty Images

Russian ransomware group Conti has warned that it will deploy its "full capacity to deliver retaliatory measures" if the US and its Western allies use cyberwarfare as a measure against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The threat applies if there's an "attempt to target critical infrastructure in Russia or any Russian speaking region of the world," Conti said in a blog post, as reported earlier Friday by Reuters.

Conti added it isn't allied with the Russian government and condemns the ongoing war, but that it "will use our resources in order to strike back if the well being and safety of peaceful citizens will be at stake due to American cyber aggression."

Read more: Russia Invades Ukraine: Latest Updates as US Personally Sanctions Putin

The statement follows the Ukrainian government on Thursday asking for volunteers from the hacking community to help protect its critical infrastructure and spy on Russian troops, according to Reuters. This came after multiple Ukrainian government websites and banks went down as they were hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday.

On Feb. 18, US officials attributed cyberattacks against Ukraine's banks and military earlier this month to Russia. Those attacks were the latest in a series of digital incursions that have been blamed on Russia.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency had sent out an advisory in September of 2021 about Conti ransomware. CISA and the FBI both said they'd seen more than 400 attacks against US organizations and international companies using Conti ransomware.

Read also: Ukraine Refugees: How to Help Those Affected by the Russian Invasion