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UK, US governments warns Russian Federation of 'malicious cyber activity'

17 April 2018

"We assess the goals of the campaign include espionage and intellectual property theft", he said.

"Russian government-sponsored actors" accessing passwords, information through routers. The US and the United Kingdom held rare coordinated conference calls on Monday to reveal their findings on the malicious activity identified in August 2017.

In the last several months, the US has attributed the WannaCry ransomware campaign to North Korea, the NotPetya attack to Russian Federation, and confirmed Russia's cyber intrusions into our energy grid. There has been speculation that Russian Federation will retaliate in the form of cyber-attacks. It has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyberattacks on other countries.

It took months of investigations to trace the origin of the August cyber-attacks, authorities said, and Tuesday's announcement was not in response to developments in Syria.

"We have high confidence that Russian Federation has carried out a coordinated campaign to gain access to enterprise, small office, home office routers known as SOHO routers and residential routers, and the switches and connectors worldwide", said Rob Joyce, special assistant to the President and cybersecurity coordinator at the White House, speaking to journalists.

Australian government claims "no indication" sensitive data was captured.

"Commercially available routers were used as a point of entry, demonstrating that every connected device is vulnerable to malicious activity".

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.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has been providing mitigation advice to companies and internet service providers that may have been affected.

They cited cyber security research organisations and other governments as providing evidence of such attacks, without providing details of their timing or scale.

"Access to the device may facilitate malicious cyber adversaries gaining access to the information that flows through the device".

"This is a global threat", said top DHS official, Jeanette Manfra.

"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.

According to Martin, numerous techniques used by Russian Federation, "exploit basic weaknesses in network systems".

[.] to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks, and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations.

But they portrayed this as far more serious because of the potential to undermine infrastructure.

The operation targeted government and private organizations, including even small businesses and residential homes, and also allowed the Russian-sponsored actors to go after "high-value targets", an official said.

UK, US governments warns Russian Federation of 'malicious cyber activity'