Russian Federation accused of global net hack attacks

Russian Federation accused of global net hack attacks

United Kingdom and USA spies issued an unprecedented joint alert over Russian-sponsored cyber attacks on Monday, confirming "millions" of devices have been infected by "hostile" hackers.

The officials said they issued the alert to help targets protect themselves and persuade victims to share information with government investigators so they can better understand the threat. The alert also theorized that this type of compromise to hardware might even be used as a foundation for future attacks.

White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said the United States and its allies had "high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the campaign.

"We'll continue to follow the actions of our Russian adversaries and we'll bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyber space", said Howard Marshall, Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Second, this type of attack strategy lets Russian Federation peer at the data that's passing through compromised devices, whether it's personal of business related. Businesses have also been targeted as hackers have sought to steal intellectual property.

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. But it is too early to know for sure if this is the case, since it takes time to spot this - if it is spotted at all - and to be sure it is Russian.

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.

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The threat alert said that attackers were trying to hack into computer networks at government and private sector organisations, as well as internet service providers.

"When we see malicious cyber-activity, whether Kremlin or other nation state actors, we are going to push back", said Mr Joyce.

"They could be pre-positioning for use in times of tension", Ciaran Martin, head of the British government's National Cyber Security Center said, adding that "millions of machines" used to move traffic across the net were targeted.

"Many of the techniques used by Russian Federation exploit basic weaknesses in network systems", said Mr Martin.

Taylor said while the devices could have been used to access sensitive data, there was "no indication" Australian information had been compromised.

"The UK government will continue to work with the U.S., other global allies and industry partners to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour, so they are held accountable for their actions", Martin added.

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