Russian hackers start targeting critical United Kingdom national infrastructure

Russian hackers start targeting critical United Kingdom national infrastructure

The alert said the targets of the campaign were primarily "government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors".

Britain's relations with Russia are at a historic low, after it blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wiltshire, prompting mass expulsions of diplomats.

The announcement came in an unprecedented joint alert that underscored closer cooperation between Western governments fighting what they say is an ongoing, multifaceted hacking and online disinformation campaign by Moscow.

"We have high confidence that Russian Federation has carried out a coordinated campaign to compromise. routers, residential and business - the things you and I have in our home", said Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator.

"We don't have full insight into the scope of the compromise", said Jeanette Manfra, a cybersecurity official for the DHS.

Russian Federation has denied involvement, and on Saturday also condemned strikes against Syria by Western powers, which Theresa May on Monday defended in the House of Commons. Rather it is part of a broader ongoing effort by the USA government to call out bad behavior in cyberspace and impose costs as a deterrent.

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's been characterized as the costliest and most damaging cyber attack in history. "This isn't an isolated incident by any stretch and should be viewed in the totality of Russian malicious cyber activity".

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on Monday issued a joint Technical Alert describing a global assault on routers, switches, firewalls, and network intrusion detection hardware by Russian state-sponsored cyber actors.

The aim seems to be to "seize control" over the machines that connect networks to the Internet, and in the case of Internet providers, to gain access to their customers, for espionage or other purposes, he said. Most traffic within a company or between organizations traverses them.

Speaking Tuesday in Canberra, Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne said up to 400 businesses in that country may also have been targeted by the campaign, but she added authorities did not believe "there has been any exploitation of significance".

The warning goes on to elaborate on the reasons it's easy to find vulnerable network devices: They tend to get less security attention than servers.

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.

The hacking effort goes to the critical components of a computer network: the routers, switches and firewalls created to safely and accurate deliver data from one computer to another.

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