Russian Cyber Army has laid ambush on unsuspecting routers, switches, firewalls and other networking equipment used by Governments and private organizations all over the world. No country is left out unless you have no value to offer.
Washington and London issued a joint alert saying the campaign by Russian government-backed hackers was intended to advance spying, intellectual property theft and other “malicious” activities and could be escalated to launch offensive attacks.
It followed a series of warnings by Western governments that Moscow is behind a string of cyber attacks. The United States, Britain and other nations in February accused Russia of releasing the “NotPetya” virus, which in 2017 crippled parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure and damaged computers across the globe, costing companies billions of dollars.
Moscow has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyberattacks on the United States and other countries.
American and British officials said that the attacks disclosed on Monday affected a wide range of organizations including internet service providers, private businesses and critical infrastructure providers. They did not identify victims or provide details on the impact of the attacks.
“When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious nation-state actors, we are going to push back,” said Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator.
“This is yet another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms and global order – this time through a campaign of cyber espionage and aggression, which attempts to disrupt governments and destabilize business,” a British government spokesman said in London.
U.S. and British officials warned that infected routers could be used to launch future offensive cyber operations.
“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 defence agency, who added that “millions of machines” were targeted.
Russia is setting up command and control centres in networking devices around the globe so they could gather data from emails, activities, launch attack on critical infrastructures and cripple economies when tensions arise, in order to gain an advantage.