The United States, Britain and Australia have accused Russian government-backed hackers of infecting computer routers around the world. This cyber espionage campaign targeted government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operations.
These accusations come as the latest in the war of words between Russia and the West. Stoked by the mainstream media’s accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, tensions between Russia and the Western world have been steadily rising.
Although no Australian information has been compromised in this attack according to the ABC, the attack targeted hundreds of Aussie businesses back in 2017.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACS) has already notified the businesses that were targeted.
But it didn’t stop there.
White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce didn’t take the compromise laying down, saying:
‘When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious nation-state actors, we are going to push back.’
Is Russia pre-positioning themselves?
Washington and London issued a joint Alert, saying the infected routers could be used to launch future offensive cyber-attacks.
Ciaran Martin, Chief executive of the British government’s National Cyber Security Centre, warned ‘they could be pre-positioning for use in times of tension’.
It comes as no surprise that US, UK and Aussie governments are urging victims to share information with government investigators in order to understand the threat and better protect themselves.
The alert comes two months after the US and UK suspected Russia of carrying out the lethal ‘NotPetya’ cyber-attacks in 2017. Crippling parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure and infecting computers across the road.
According to SBS, a senior US official (wishing to stay anonymous), suggested there has been a steady increase in Russian cyber attacks in recent years…saying:
‘It’s harder to track, attribute and respond immediately to a cyber attack…than it is to know who fired a missile.’
Moscow has yet to comment, but has previously denied accusations that it has issued attacks on America and other countries.
But officials say the latest attacks affected a series of organisations — including internet service providers, private sector-firms and crucial infrastructure providers.
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