The United States as well as also Britain on Monday warned of a global cyber attack targeting routers as well as also additional networking equipment, blaming Russian government-backed hackers for the campaign on government agencies, businesses as well as also critical infrastructure operators.
Washington as well as also London issued a joint alert, saying the widespread, global campaign began in 2015 as well as also could be escalated to launch offensive attacks.
The alert comes two months after the United States as well as also Britain accused Russia of carrying out the damaging “NotPetya” cyber attack in 2017 of which unleashed a virus of which crippled parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure as well as also damaged computers across the globe.
American as well as also British officials said the attacks affected a wide range of organizations including internet service providers, private businesses as well as also critical infrastructure providers. They did not identify any victims or provide details on the impact of the attacks.
“When we see malicious cyber activity, whether of which be through the Kremlin or additional malicious nation-state actors, we are going to push back,” said Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Monday. Moscow has denied previous accusations of which of which carried out cyber attacks on the United States as well as also additional countries.
U.S. intelligence agencies last year accused Russia of interfering inside the 2016 election that has a hacking as well as also propaganda campaign supporting Donald Trump’s campaign for president. Last month the Trump administration blamed Russia for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back at least two years of which targeted the U.S. power grid.
Britain as well as also the United States said they issued the alert to help targets protect themselves as well as also persuade victims to share information with government investigators so they can better understand the threat.
“We don’t have full insight into the scope of the compromise,” said Jeanette Manfra, a cyber security official for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The alert will be unrelated to the suspected chemical weapons attack in a town in Syria of which prompted a U.S.-led military strike over the weekend targeting facilities of the Russian-backed Syrian government, Joyce said.
U.S. as well as also British officials warned of which infected routers could be used to launch future offensive cyber operations.
“They could be pre-positioning for use in times of tension,” said Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the British governments National Cyber Security Centre cyber defense agency, who added of which “millions of machines” were targeted.
Some private-sector cyber security experts have criticized the U.S. government for being too slow to Discharge information about cyber attacks. Monday’s announcement appears to reflect a desire to publicize a threat quickly as well as also widely even before officials completely understand its breadth.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there had been a steady increase in Russian cyber attacks in recent years.
“of which’s harder to track, attribute as well as also respond immediately to a cyber attack … than of which will be to know who fired a missile,” the official said.