Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

UK, US warn of Russian cyber attacks

UK, US warn of Russian cyber attacks

Washington and London issued a joint alert, saying the widespread, global campaign began in 2015 and could be escalated to launch offensive attacks. Moscow has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyber attacks on the United States and other countries. The United States, Britain and other nations in February accused Russian Federation of releasing the "NotPetya" virus, which in 2017 crippled parts of Ukraine's infrastructure and damaged computers across the globe, costing companies billions of dollars.

The attack focused on governments, businesses, "critical infrastructure", and internet service providers.

In Washington, both Democrats and Republicans have criticized President Trump for what they say is his reluctance to hold Russian Federation accountable for its hacking of the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election; American intelligence agencies have also blamed the Kremlin for those attacks.

The so-called "Mirai botnet" attack in 2016 hacked into and hijacked thousands upon thousands of mundane internet-connected devices like cameras and DVRs, using them to "ping" web addresses, sending crushing volumes of web traffic to target servers.

According to Reuters, US and British authorities told reporters this week that Russian-financed computer experts have been waging a cyber war against the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations going back to 2016.

Russian diplomats have castigated the United States, Britain and France for their airstrikes last week on what they said were chemical weapons facilities in Syria, where the Kremlin is backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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"We don't have full insight into the scope of the compromise", said U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber security official Jeanette Manfra.

US and British officials warned that infected routers could be used to launch future offensive cyber operations.

"Multiple sources including private and public-sector cybersecurity research organizations and allies have reported this activity to the USA and United Kingdom governments". Monday's announcement appears to reflect a desire to publicize a threat quickly and widely even before officials completely understand its breadth.

US and United Kingdom officials are anxious about increasingly common Wi-Fi-enabled gizmos, known as "Internet of Things" devices, in everyone's homes.

"It's harder to track, attribute and respond immediately to a cyber attack. than it is to know who fired a missile", the official said.

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