Moscow says basis for allegations of Russian cyber campaign unclear

Russia's U.S. ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

Russia's U.S. ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint statement on the attack, which they said began in 2015 and could have laid the groundwork for further cyber-attacks in the future.

"Essentially you've got Russian Federation exploiting vulnerabilities in Cisco routers to potentially conduct a whole range of activities, from espionage to pre-positioning for attacks on critical infrastructure", Mr Hanson said.

Britain and the USA have previously flagged responses including fresh sanctions, indictments and online retaliation.

Also, there are signs the Russians and Iranians will use the USA -led attack as an excuse to declare that political avenues for resolving the Syrian civil war have been foreclosed, to justify a more intense military campaign against remaining rebel forces - the sort of campaign that could make use of the equipment Russia is sending to the Tartus naval base for further distribution.

In a statement, the NCSC said attacks were directed at key "network infrastructure devices" such as routers, switches, ISPSs and firewalls.

"We are pushing back and we're pushing back hard", said Rob Joyce, White House special assistant to the president and cybersecurity director.

Routers have always been known to be vulnerable to hacking and infiltration.

Once a skilled, or even semi-skilled, hacker has accessed a router it can be a simple matter to connect to other networks.

The concerns here are two-fold. The attack appeared to be an attempt at espionage, stealing intellectual property and laying the foundation for a future attack on infrastructure.

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Military officials have long anxious that the first strike in any "kinetic" war (in which things are actually blown up) could very likely be a cyber strike, knocking out a nation's infrastructure and making it more hard for the nation to strike back against missiles and other hostile actions.

Russian state TV recently ran a segment advising citizens to stockpile food and water as the discussion of a "catastrophic" conflict between superpowers intensified over Syria.

"The UK Government will continue to work with the United States, other worldwide allies and industry partners to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour, so they are held accountable for their actions", PA quoted NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin as saying.

"Given that in recent days the British media, instigated by official statements, has again started to exploit the issue of 'cyberthreats from Russian Federation, ' impression grows that the British public is being prepared for a massive cyber attack by the United Kingdom against Russian Federation, that will purport to be of a retaliatory nature, but would in fact constitute unprovoked use of force".

The advice to reduce cyber threats included using encrypted management protocols, disabling protocols that aren't encrypted and changing default passwords.

"Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace", Ciaran Martin, chief executive officer of Britain's NCSC, said.

Russian Federation is using compromised computer network equipment to attack USA and British companies and government agencies, the two countries warned in an unprecedented joint alert.

Sputnik: The US has already imposed sanctions on Russian Federation using various pretexts many of which have been baseless but blamed Russian Federation for the deteriorating relations between the two nations, why is that?

These potential "victim networks" range from small-office and in-home systems to large private and public sector corporations.

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