Russian hackers 'already targeting United Kingdom for revenge'

Erika Holt
April 17, 2018

A British government spokesman called the global campaign of cyberespionage "yet another example of Russia's disregard for worldwide norms and global order".

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. It was the two countries' first such joint alert.

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".

The move is unrelated to the administration's recent strikes in Syria, which Russian Federation condemned.

Describing the escalation of the Russian cyber threat, NCSC boss Ciaran Martin said: "This is the first time that in attributing a cyber attack to Russia the USA and the United Kingdom have, at the same time, issued joint advice to industry about how to manage the risks from attacks".

"When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious actors, we're going to push back", said Joyce.

BRITAIN is braced for cyber warfare attacks by Russian Federation that could send services such as healthcare, transport and utilities into meltdown.

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There were reports that the Pentagon had detected a 2,000% increase in Russian-linked bots on social media in the hours after Saturday's strikes.

The U.S. government also has obtained indictments against Iranian hackers, and accused North Korea of being behind the WannaCry computer worm that affected more than 230,000 computers around the world.

The operation targeted government and private organizations, including even small businesses and residential homes, and also allowed the Russian-sponsored actors to go after "high-value targets", an official said.

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.

"Once you own the router you own the traffic that's traversing the router", she said.

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.

The hackers are using compromised routers to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks to support cyber espionage, steal intellectual property and maintain persistent access in victim networks for use in additional campaigns.

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