US, UK Joint Alert Blames Russia for 'Malicious' Cyber Attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

The British government on Monday condemned what it and the United States have described as a Russian government-backed campaign of cyber espionage as another example of Moscow's disregard for global rules.

"Whether an end user, private firm or device designer, there are straightforward measure we can take to make sure we get network security right, which includes building devices from the ground up to be secure by design because we have seen in this case default passwords and unsecured devices being exploited", he said.

The alleged intentions of the mass hackings were to "support espionage", extract information and intellectual property from affected systems and maintain persistent access to "victim networks", according to British authorities.

"Russian government activities continue to threaten our respective safety, security and the very integrity of our cyber ecosystem", said Jeanette Manfra, the UK National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications.

Moscow has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyber attacks on the United States and other countries.

"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.


"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".

Relations between Russia and Britain were already on edge after Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Moscow for the March 4 nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

It is noted that according to the officials of the security sector, the British government communications Centre (GCHQ, the intelligence Agency responsible for protecting the public value and electronic intelligence - ed.) will "continue to expose the unacceptable behaviour of Russian Federation in cyberspace". "But this is the first time the United Kingdom has systematically and persistently degraded an adversary's online efforts as part of a wider military campaign", he said.

"We know that these capabilities are very powerful", he said.

"We had an attack on the Foreign Ministry where we have to assume that it stemmed from Russian Federation", he said.

Vital transport links, water supplies, gas networks, banks, hospitals and air traffic control could be targeted following the US-led strikes, The Mirror reports.

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