JAKARTA -The United States and Britain warned for a global cyberattack that targets routers and other network equipment, and accuses to Russian government-backed hackers of campaigning on key government agencies, businesses and infrastructure operators.
Reported by CNBC, Washington and London issued a joint warning stating that a broad global campaign began in 2015 and could be stepped up to launch offensives.
The warning comes two months after the United States and Britain accused Russia of carrying out a cyber attack “NotPetya” in 2017 that spread a virus that paralyzed some of the Ukrainian infrastructure and damaged computers around the world.
US and British officials say the attack affects a number of organizations including internet service providers, private businesses and key infrastructure providers. They do not identify the victim or provide details about the impact of the attack.
“When we see dangerous cyberspace activity, whether it is from the Kremlin or other state actors, we will fight,” said Rob Joyce, cyber security coordinator of the White House, as quoted by CNBC.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to requests for comments on Monday night. Meanwhile, Russia has denied previous allegations that the country is carrying out cyber attacks in the US and other countries.
US intelligence agencies last year accused Russia of interfering in 2016 elections with hacking and propaganda campaigns supporting Donald Trump’s campaign. Last month, the Trump government blamed Russia for a cyber-attack campaign targeting the US power grid.
Britain and the United States said they issued a warning to help targets protect themselves and persuade victims to share information with government investigators so they could better understand the threat.
Joyce said the warning was not linked to alleged chemical weapons attacks in a city in Syria that prompted US-led military action over the weekend and targeted Russian-backed Syrian government facilities, Joyce said.
US and British officials warned that infected routers could be used to launch offensive cyber operations at any time.
“They can be pre-positioned to be used in times of tension,” said Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the British National Center’s cyber defense agency, adding that “millions of machines” were targeted.
Some private sector cyber security experts have criticized the US government for being too slow to release information about cyber attacks. The announcement made last Monday seems to reflect a desire to publicize threats quickly and widely even before officials really understand its reach.
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