Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US, UK issue joint warning on Russian hackers

US, UK issue joint warning on Russian hackers

The operation was "to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations", Washington and London said in a joint statement.

The technical alert said the U.S. government had been receiving information that the cyber actors had been exploiting switches - named by the ACSC as "switches with Cisco Smart Install accessible from the internet, and routers or switches with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) enabled and exposed to the internet" - since 2015.

U.S. and United Kingdom officials said that they have "high confidence" that cyber actors supported by the Russian government have carried out a coordinated campaign to gain access to these routers.

"Once you own the router you own the traffic that's traversing the router", she said.

"Many of the techniques used by Russian Federation exploit basic weaknesses in network systems", said Mr Martin.

A RUSSIAN journalist who wrote about mercenaries from the country being killed in clashes with USA troops in Syria has died after a mystery fall.

"The activity highlighted today is part of a repeated pattern of disruptive and harmful malicious cyber action carried out by the Russian government", Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy assistant director Howard Marshall said in a statement online.

The full alert contains indicators of compromise for the attacks, technical details on the tactics, techniques and procedures as well as contextual information regarding observation of the attacks. Part of the alert calls on people to step up their own security, with Manfra pointing out that the DHS can't "protect every single device".

"The NCSC is leading the way globally to issue advice and automate defences at scale to remove those basic attacks, thereby allowing us to focus on the most potent threats".

"Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our United States allies", he said.

Britain's relations with Russia are at a historic low, after it blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wiltshire, prompting mass expulsions of diplomats.

The DHS said it's seen Russian activity with scans for vulnerabilities on routers over the past two years, but it's hard to assess how many have been affected.

The joint US-UK alert comes days after Home Secretary Amber Rudd warned that the UK had been hit by 49 cyberattacks from Russian groups in the last six months. "The UK and USA have separately and together already called out bad behavior by Russian Federation in cyberspace, but never before have we joined together to give the same advice to our industry and citizens".

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