Russian state-sponsored hackers are seeking to hijack critical network infrastructure devices, USA and British intelligence agencies say.
Officials from the USA and United Kingdom said that for almost a year now they have been investigating the massive cyber hacking of routers found in homes and business across the US and United Kingdom.
The US Department of Homeland Security said the hacking was part of a broad operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe, which DHS says comprises concerting cyberattacks by Moscow's civilian and military intelligence agencies.
United States and UK officials said that they have "high confidence" that cyber actors supported by the Russian government have carried out a coordinated campaign to gain access to these routers. 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. It had also let attackers cripple firewalls and intrusion detection systems that organizations use to flag malicious internet traffic, according to the BBC.
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.
What no-one is quite sure of is whether this creates a deterrent a bit like mutually assured nuclear destruction in the Cold War.
"This attempt by Russian Federation is a sharp reminder that Australian businesses and individuals are constantly targeted by malicious state and non-state actors, and we must maintain rigorous cyber security practices", Taylor said.
So far the report has warned that the main targets have been ISPs, government departments, big companies, and also firms involved in running "critical infrastructure".
Ciaran Martin, director-general for cyber security at GCHQ, said Russian Federation could try to bring down water, gas and electricity systems, as well as banks, hospitals and transport.
According to the alert, systems that have been affected include Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) enabled devices, Cisco Smart Install (SMI) enabled devices, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) enabled network devices.
And it contained detailed information about attack methods, the signs left when hardware has been compromised, and how networks change when they have been breached.
Monday's announcement is the latest in a series of related moves by the Trump administration, which in recent months has publicly blamed Russian Federation for launching the NotPetya worm that's been characterized as the costliest and most damaging cyber attack in history.
"The UK government will continue to work with the U.S., other worldwide allies and industry partners to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour, so they are held accountable for their actions".
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