Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Russia Denies US and UK Allegations of Global Cyber Attack

Russia Denies US and UK Allegations of Global Cyber Attack

Russian Federation is hacking millions of computers in a "sustained" campaign to pave the way for a crippling cyberattack, senior officials in the United States and the United Kingdom have warned.

"For this reason, we can't rule out the possibility Russian Federation may intend to use these set of compromises for future offensive cyber operations as well", Joyce said. Specifically, these malicious cyber activities can target local government network infrastructure such as routers, switches, firewalls to compromise government services and extract intellectual property, compromise login credentials, and potentially lay a foundation for future attacks.

The US and British governments jointly tracked the latest campaign, which has targeted millions of machines globally, said Ciaran Martin, chief executive of Britain's NCSC, the government's central cybersecurity agency.

"We can't rule out that Russian Federation might intend to use this set of compromises for future offensive cyber operations as well, it provides basic infrastructure they can launch from".

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Intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have released details of malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian government and aimed at hijacking internet infrastructure.

On March 15, US-CERT issued a similar alert saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS had determined that Russian Government "cyber actors" had sought to infiltrate US agencies as well as "organisations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors". It has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyberattacks on other countries.

Mr Taylor, who is in the United States meeting government officials to discuss cyber security, said it was crucial Canberra worked with Washington to build defences against attacks.

"The performance of this malicious activity sends a clear message to Russian Federation".

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Lax security standards, default usernames and passwords, outdated firmware, and older routers that utilize unencrypted protocols have made it easier than ever to compromise home and business networks.

The alert warns that network device vendors, ISPs, public sector organisations, private sector corporations and small-office/home-office (SOHO) customers are the main targets. "We call on all responsible nations to use their resources-including diplomatic, law enforcement, technical, and other means-to address the Russian cyber threat".

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.

Martin said authorities have been tracking the campaign for about a year and the tactics behind them for longer.

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