Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Alert over 'malicious' Russian cyber attack

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Ellis Copeland | 17 April, 2018, 20:29

The US and Britain warned on Monday of Russian government-sponsored cyber-attack against internet network infrastructure around the world.

Shortly after the announcement, the White House said Joyce would leave his post and return to the U.S. National Security Agency.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has already notified the businesses that were targeted.

Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor, who is in the USA for a cyber conference, told SBS News the government was "now seeking to hold bad behaviour to account".

"We are pushing back and we're pushing back hard", said Rob Joyce, White House special assistant to the president and cybersecurity director.

"They could be pre-positioning for use in times of tension", said Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the British government's National Cyber Security Centre cyber defense agency, who added that "millions of machines" were targeted.

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"For over twenty years, GCHQ has been tracking the key Russian cyber attack groups and today's joint UK-US alert shows that the threat has not gone away". It has previously dismissed allegations it was responsible for cyber attacks against the United States and other countries, including meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and attacks against the USA power grid.

Jeanette Manfra, DHS assistant secretary for cybersecurity, said the alert is a "call for all responsible nations to use their resources - including diplomatic, law enforcement, technical, and other means - to address the Russian cyber threat". Multiple studies have found that companies often install routers with their default passwords (often simply 1-2-3-4), making them child's play to break into.

"Once you own the router, you own the traffic that's traversing the router", she said. They are seeking the cooperation of home office and private-sector business owners in sharing information if they determine their networks have been compromised.

He said it was now possible to identify the culprits behind many attacks, including state actors like Russian Federation.

An investigation into the global "mass hacking" began three years ago after cybersecurity workers and allies informed the U.S. government that "large numbers" of enterprise and residential routers worldwide had been hacked by an unknown entity. It was not clear whether that compromise was part of the same campaign.

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