Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Intelligence agencies warn of broad campaign by state-sponsored Russian hackers

EnlargeUS Air Force EnlargeUS Air Force
Johnnie Parks | 17 April, 2018, 21:16

The notice goes on to state that this activity has been reported to the USA and United Kingdom governments by "multiple sources", including private and public-sector cyber security research organisations and allies.

According to the NCSC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DHS, state-sponsored Russian hackers have targeted network devices inside government organisations, private industry and critical infrastructure operators, and even those within small and home offices.

American and British crimefighters have launched another round of pin-the-tail-on-the-Russians - with a warning that Moscow-backed hackers are trying to subvert the world's network devices.

Lack of security patches or support of end-of-life devices by manufacturers or vendors. The report "provides information on the worldwide cyber exploitation of network infrastructure devices (e.g., router, switch, firewall, Network-based Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) devices) by Russian state-sponsored cyber actors". The fact that, following installation, network devices are often not maintained at the same level as other types of hardware compounds this vulnerability.

"Targets are primarily government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors". It has also been suggested that compromised hardware might not only allow hackers to gain access to user information, but it could also be used as a foundation for future attacks.

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"We have high confidence that Russian Federation has carried out a coordinated campaign to compromise. routers, residential and business - the things you and I have in our home", said Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator.

Ciarain Martin, the head of NCSC, added: "This is the first time that in attributing a cyber attack to Russian Federation the United States and the UK have, at the same time, issued joint advice to industry about how to manage the risks from the attack". What we can be sure of is that this story isn't going to be disappearing anytime soon, so expect to hear more in the very near future.

"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.

While the focus of the alert is how individuals and businesses, from the home office to large enterprises, can protect themselves from the attack, the goal was also calling out Russia's bad behavior, officials said.

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