Two days after the White House telegraphed a retaliatory stealth attack on Russian cyber systems, Russian government websites for the Kremlin and other agencies were knocked offline.
“It was reported earlier on Wednesday that the websites of certain governmental agencies were not accessible,” the state news agency Tass announced. “Users also reported a failure in operation of Rostelecom, the largest Russian communications provider.”
In addition to the Kremlin site, the disabled web pages included those for the State Duma, the Security Council, the Russian Investigative Committee, the Ministry of the Interior, and other agencies, Tass reported.
The outages followed a Monday warning from the White House that the U.S. would launch a counterstrike to retaliate for the SolarWinds computer data breach. The warning was not lost on pundits inside Russia.
“On Wednesday, a number of commenters and journalists speculated that U.S. hackers had begun a campaign against the country, after a series of official websites were taken offline,” the Russian news agency RT reported, noting that the Kremlin was “alarmed” at the possibility.