Monday, 24 September, 2018

United Kingdom is reportedly preparing for a Russian-backed cyberattack

UK could launch retaliatory cyber attack on Russia after Skripal attack US, Britain charge Russian-backed hackers of global cyber espionage campaign
| 17 April, 2018, 20:28

British and U.S. intelligence services released a joint statement on Monday evening saying the main targets included "government and private-sector organisations", as well as providers of "critical infrastructure" and internet service providers.

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

The FBI has "high confidence" that the hackers are using the compromised networks to spy, steal intellectual property and "potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations".

Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, set out a range of actions the USA could take such as fresh sanctions and indictments as well as retaliating with its own cyber-offensive capabilities.

The UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) combined with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Homeland Security issued a formal alert about "malicious cyber activity" by Russian operatives.

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


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

"We condemn the actions and hold the Kremlin responsible for the malicious activities", said Jeanette Manfra, the chief cybersecurity official for the Department of Homeland Security. "We can't rule out Russian Federation may attempt to use this [hacked] infrastructure for further attacks".

Director Howard Marshall said the alert underscores the United States' commitment to fighting malicious cyber activity.

"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. "The NCSC is leading the way globally to automate defences at scale to take away some of those basic attacks, thereby allowing us to focus on the most potent threats".

USA and British officials said the infected routers could be leveraged to launch future offensive cyber operations. It marks an important step in our fight back against state-sponsored aggression in cyberspace.

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

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