U.S. and United Kingdom blame Russian Federation for cyber hacks on internet routers worldwide

Clay Curtis
April 17, 2018

Any compromised hardware might even be used as a foundation for future attacks, the alert theorized.

In a press conference about the alert, White House cyber-security co-ordinator Rob Joyce said the United States and its allies had "high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the "broad campaign".

"It provides basic infrastructure that they can launch from", one top USA official said.

Millions of devices around the world are said to have been compromised in this way, with inherently poor security and poor default passwords exploited by the attackers. They are seeking the cooperation of home office and private-sector business owners in sharing information if they determine their networks have been compromised. Hanson added that Australia, US and the United Kingdom may have known about Russia's connection, but they sat quietly on the intelligence in a bid to understand Russia's methods.

The Australian government has confirmed a series of cyberattacks on Australian organisations revealed in August previous year were carried out by Russian state-sponsored hackers.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the UK's National Cyber Security Centre, called it "a very significant moment as we hold Russian Federation to account and we improve our cyber defenses at the same time".

The alert urges network device vendors, ISPs, public sector organisations and private corporations of all sizes to read it and act on the recommended mitigation strategies.

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The alert came from the Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, DHS and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The chief of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) based at GCHQ in Cheltenham, Glos, said Russian Federation was "our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace" and that "dealing with their attacks is a major priority" for British and American spooks.

The UK was working with America, its other allies and the technology industry to "expose Russia's unacceptable cyber-behaviour, so they are held accountable for their actions", said Mr Martin. Further intelligence about the attacks had been added by "multiple" cyber-security organisations and companies, he added.

The FBI also pledged to do whatever it takes to combat Russian cyberattacks.

"It's a tremendous weapon in the hands of an adversary", echoed the FBI's Howard Marshall, the deputy assistant director of the cyber division.

Monday's announcement is the latest in a series of related moves by the Trump administration, which in recent months has publicly blamed Russian Federation for launching the NotPetya worm that has been characterised as the costliest and most destructive cyberattack in history.

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