Russian hackers have infected 'millions of machines' across the world

Elias Hubbard
April 17, 2018

The FBI, DHS and United Kingdom cyber intelligence agency NCSC have jointly accused Russian-based attackers of having engaged in trying to compromise routers, switches and firewalls around the world to hijack the Internet's infrastructure.

These attacks target government, the private sector and critical infrastructure, as well as the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing support to these sectors, with attacks across the globe on network infrastructure devices including routers, switches, firewalls, Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS).

The alert details methods used to compromise the networking equipment used to move traffic across the net.

White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said the United States and its allies had "high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the campaign.

British and U.S. governments said they intend to provide organisations with technical details on the attacks so determine if they have been hacked and prepare for any future attacks.

Millions of devices around the world are said to have been compromised in this way, with inherently poor security and poor default passwords exploited by the attackers.

"We are pushing back, and we are pushing back hard", said Joyce. Finally, the alert outlined what erratic hardware behavior should indicate a device has been compromised.

In a joint statement, the British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US Department of Homeland Security warned that a global hacking campaign by the Kremlin had already started.

In a press conference about the alert, White House cyber-security co-ordinator Rob Joyce said the United States and its allies had "high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the "broad campaign".

The UK was working with America, its other allies and the technology industry to "expose Russia's unacceptable cyber-behaviour, so they are held accountable for their actions", said Mr Martin.

US Homeland Security has directly condemned the Russian state for the attacks.

"The attribution of this malicious activity sends a clear message to Russian Federation - we know what you are doing and you will not succeed", the spokesman added.

The FBI also pledged to do whatever it takes to combat Russian cyberattacks. "These actions are meant to send a message that we are going to work against these issues in the worldwide space".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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