Russian hackers are attacking millions of vulnerable routers
Apr 20, 2018, 00:23
The United States and Britain have accused Russian Federation of launching cyber attacks on computer routers, firewalls and other networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators around the globe.
Officials said that Russian hackers have been conducting a months-long cyber campaign against network devices used by government organizations, private industry and critical infrastructure operators.
Officials said the activity had been under observation for "some time" and was not directly related to missile strikes on Syria.
"The US government assesses that cyber actors supported by the Russian government carried out this worldwide campaign", the warning added.
"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".
For over twenty years, GCHQ has been tracking the key Russian cyber attack groups and today's joint UK-U.S. alert shows that the threat has not gone away.
"Based on advice from Australian intelligence agencies, and in consultation with our allies, the Australian government has determined that Russian state-sponsored actors are responsible for this activity, which occurred in 2017", the minister for law enforcement and cybersecurity, Angus Taylor, said in a said in a statement. "We condemn this latest activity in the strongest possible terms".
In a joint briefing with United States officials, Mr Martin said they had seen the "sustained targeting of multiple entities" over a series of months with millions of machines around the word being targeted. The hackers are also targeting the internet service providers that support these sectors, the statement said. Most or all organizational and customer traffic must traverse these critical devices. In contrast to servers and desktop computers inside targeted organizations, the network devices often receive little ongoing maintenance, making them relatively easy to hack.
"Once you own the router, you own the traffic that's traversing the router", she said.
In a statement given to Forbes, a Russian Embassy spokesperson rejected the claims: "We are disappointed by the fact that such serious claims have been made publicly, without any proof being presented and without any attempt by the United Kingdom to clarify the situation with the Russian side in the first place".
The advisory says network devices are ideal targets because nearly all network traffic passes through them.
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