Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Russian Federation behind global cyber attack: United States and UK

Russian Federation behind global cyber attack: United States and UK

Washington and London issued a joint alert saying the campaign by Russian government-backed hackers was meant to advance spying, intellectual property theft and other "malicious" activities and could be escalated to launch offensive attacks.

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

Ukraine attack: Washington and London blamed Moscow in February for a debilitating 2017 cyber attack against Ukraine called "NotPetya", which also damaged IT devices worldwide.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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While representatives of the UK and the USA were united in strongly condemning the attacks, the Russian government has denied involvement.

As tensions remain high over Russia's involvement in Syria, its alleged tampering in the 2016 USA election and the poisoning of a former Russian spy, the United Kingdom and U.S. say that Russia will be held accountable for the cyber-attacks.

The alert warns that the main targets of this malicious cyber activity are critical infrastructure providers and government and private sector organisations, as well as ISPs supporting these sectors. The statement did not identify any victims by name.

The imminent attack was not, however, linked to allied nations' missile strikes on Saturday in Syria, Britain's Press Association (PA) news agency reported, citing White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce.

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United States and U.K. relations with Vladimir Putin's administration are at a low, following the use of nerve agent to poison a former double agent in Britain in March and the US-led bombing of Syria over the weekend.

"We don't have full insight into the scope of the compromise", said U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber security official Jeanette Manfra.

"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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