NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, CNN, and beyond. The main news channels mention Russia and China as frequently being the sources of hacks and denial of service (DoS) attacks. But there's something critical to understand that well-meaning broadcast journalists and reporters do not seem to understand.
Anyone can relay their web activity bouncing across multiple servers to then appear to be from China, Russia, or Malaysia, while being any where else in the world. Just because the Web Analytics tool spits out "Russia" or "China" does not mean that's where that web traffic actually originated.
The country of origin (based on IPs) only indicate the last relay leg.
For example, I could relay a connection from the USA to Brazil that then connects from Brazil to Russia and then from Russia connects with a website next door to my office in Texas. In real matter of fact, I merely pulled up the website of the business next door but the web analytics records erroneously claim I came from Russia.
As a matter of fact, even on my smartphone, I can open a browser that will establish connections all around the world--often in Russia, Malaysia, and Brazil without leaving The Great State of Texas. It's so easy, but always at a cost of speed... so doing these relays for web activity are not satisfying for those who appreciate instant gratification.
But sometimes the delay is worth it. People living under extreme censorship and under totalitarian or dictatorship regimes can only access information in the FREE WORLD through these relay tactics. For that alone, it is worth it.
Also, there are web surfers who are, on principle, fed up with being tracked every jot and tittle who surf the net FREELY with proxies and relays. It's a solution for Fourth Amendment concerns for perfectly law-abiding citizens.
And certainly, criminal elements foreign and domestic can use the same technology. Even if they used "normal" internet protocols, they have the means to remain hidden and protected. It is truly those who live under oppressive regimes who benefit from this technological advantage.
Everyone has a self-responsibility to keep their tech secure. Data breaches are always a result of some stupidity: like a password of 12345. Even a 4th grader can crack that. If you know nothing about this topic, hire an expert (like me).
But no one, not a single soul, has a right to be claiming--especially so-called journalists--that Russia or whomever is behind an attack because the last leg of a relay connection, the last node IP address, "originated" from that country. To do so is an outright ignorance of how the internet works. And sadly, many members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate fail to understand this whole interwebs thing.
While an extra dab of internet savvy can have your online visit to Williams-Sonoma appear as though you're on your computer in Siberia, that data does not make it so. And without this technology, individuals in scary countries would not be able to read The New York Times or better.
Despite the confusion, the proxy relays are truly a beautiful thing that champions freedom across the globe!