Russian Federation accused of massive global attack on computer routers

British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a huge public backlash after bombing Syria without the backing of Parliament

British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a huge public backlash after bombing Syria without the backing of Parliament

The 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 has been characterised as the costliest and most destructive cyber attack in history.

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

The targets included government and private organizations, including internet service providers, officials said.

The National Cyber Security Centre, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department for Homeland Security in the USA have warned that this "threatens our respective safety, security and economic well-being".

Australian network users also reported numerous threats to their companies; past year, their servers succumbed to a malicious software.

"When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious nation-state actors, we are going to push back", White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said.

Howard Marshall, who works in the FBI's cyber-division and who was on the conference call, said: "We will bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyberspace".

Jeanette Manfra, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications said: "Russian government activities continue to threaten our respective safety, security, and the very integrity of our cyber ecosystem".

Advice circulated by United States and United Kingdom authorities warned Cisco routers - a common commercial brand - were affected.

Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, said the USA had a range of options to retaliate with, including new sanctions as well as using its own cyber-offensive techniques. Another added, "They're more likely to revert to targeted information and try and cause as much embarrassment and chaos as possible".

"This is a global threat", Manfra said.

"Once you own the router, you own the traffic that's traversing the router", she said.

United States officials said this year that Russian military hackers compromised routers in South Korea in January and deployed new malware when the Olympics began in February.

An investigation into the global "mass hacking" began three years ago after cybersecurity workers and allies informed the USA government that "large numbers" of enterprise and residential routers worldwide had been hacked by an unknown entity.

In June and July 2017 they saw Russian actors using software created by Internet network company Cisco that allows networks to be profiled to scan for vulnerable systems and routers.

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