Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint statement on the attack, which they said began in 2015 and could have laid the groundwork for further cyber attacks in the future.
The joint technical alert issued by the agencies provides some information on how the attackers are targeting network infrastructure, and provides guidance for device vendors, internet service providers, public sector organisations, private companies and home users on how to identify and combat malicious activity.
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As if tensions between the West and Russian Federation weren't high enough at the moment, the United States of America and the UK have essentially accused the Kremlin of laying the groundwork for future cyber attacks.
"When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious actors, we're going to push back", Joyce said. The hackers are also targeting the internet service providers that support these sectors, the statement said.
According to Howard Marshall, FBI Deputy Assistant Director, "The activity highlighted [in the alert] is part of a repeated pattern of disruptive and harmful malicious cyber action carried out by the Russian government".
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.
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"Australian cyber security centre ... believes that probably 400 Australian companies were subject (hacker attacks)", said she. And two: "Encourage industry to secure the devices we depend on", White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said.
Network infrastructure devices make particularly attractive targets as they are the nexus for massive amounts of internet traffic and tend to be maintained far less diligently than the devices that people use every day, like computers and mobile devices.
State-sponsored Russian hackers are actively seeking to hijack essential internet hardware, U.S. and United Kingdom intelligence agencies say.
The cyber security experts found out that lately, Russian hackers have been using network tools to spy or plan future hacker attacks.
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