United Kingdom and U.S. spies issued an unprecedented joint alert over Russian-sponsored cyber attacks on Monday, confirming "millions" of devices have been infected by "hostile" hackers.
According to the NCSC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DHS, state-sponsored Russian hackers have targeted network devices inside government organisations, private industry and critical infrastructure operators, and even those within small and home offices.
"The targets of this malicious cyber activity are primarily government and private-sector organisations, critical infrastructure providers and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors", the statement said.
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".
We will remind, relations between Russia and great Britain strained after London accused Moscow in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, deported from the country of the Russian diplomats.
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FBI Deputy Assistant Director Howard Marshall said the activity is a part of a "repeated pattern of disruptive and harmful cyber action" carried out by Russian Federation.
"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", PA quoted NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin as saying. "We will attribute where we can", he said, accusing Russian Federation of "not playing by the same rules" and of "blurring the boundaries between criminal and state activity".
"We had an attack on the Foreign Ministry where we have to assume that it stemmed from Russian Federation", he said.
In the conference call with journalists, Martin said that this joint action demonstrates that there is something that can be done between countries and within countries, with government giving advice to industry and citzens about what action to take.
Vital transport links, water supplies, gas networks, banks, hospitals and air traffic control could be targeted following the US-led strikes, The Mirror reports.