United States and UK blame Russian Federation for cyber hacks on internet routers worldwide

First Look Inside The New National Cyber Security Centre

The governments said the Russian operations, which allegedly involve planting malware on internet routers and other equipment, could also lay the foundation for future offensive cyberattacks.

British and US officials said they had "high confidence" that the Kremlin was behind the attacks.

Hackers backed by the Russian government are waging a campaign of "malicious cyber activity" targeting "compromised routers", the USA and British intelligence communities said in a joint statement released Monday.

Australia also admonished Russian Federation and accused Kremlin-backed hackers of cyberattacks on hundreds of Australian companies a year ago. US-CERT said the compromised routers can be exploited for "man-in-the-middle" spoofing attacks, in which communications are intercepted by a seemingly trusted device that has actually been infiltrated by an attacker.

"What we've seen in this case is default passwords being exploited, unsecured devices being exploited", said Joyce. The report then offers technical solutions for those who are concerned about being hacked by Russian agents, beyond switching the device off and on again.

Australian government claims "no indication" sensitive data was captured.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said about 400 Australian companies were targeted in the 2017 Russian attacks, but there was no "exploitation of significance".

More news: Analyst Recommendations for: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD), Celgene Corporation (CELG)

The technical alert said the USA 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.

"Commercially available routers were used as a point of entry, demonstrating that every connected device is vulnerable to malicious activity", Taylor said.

"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 operation targeted government and private organizations, including even small businesses and residential homes, and also allowed the Russian-sponsored actors to go after "high-value targets", an official said.

"Russian government-sponsored actors" accessing passwords, information through routers.

They add, "Russia is not planning to conduct any cyber attacks against the United Kingdom".

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