The U.S. and U.K Warn That Russia Is Targeting Global Internet Routers for Espionage


Washington and London on Monday jointly accused the Russian government of maliciously targeting global internet equipment for political and economic espionage.

The two governments said the Russian operations, which allegedly involve planting malware on internet routers and other equipment, could also lay the foundation for future offensive cyberattacks.

A joint statement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre said the main targets include “government and private-sector organizations,” as well as providers of “critical infrastructure” and internet service providers.

“Victims were identified through a coordinated series of actions between U.S. and international partners,” according to a companion technical alert issued by the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT). Both nations have “high confidence” in the finding of Russian-sponsored cyber-meddling, which the alert said has been reported by multiple sources since 2015.

Australia also admonished Russia and accused Kremlin-backed hackers of cyberattacks on hundreds of Australian companies last year.

Respected U.S. cybersecurity researcher Jake Williams said it was difficult for him to understand the motivation for Monday’s alert given that “the activity has been ongoing for some time.”

“Calling the Russians out on this hardly makes much sense unless there’s some other agenda (most likely political),” Williams, the president of Rendition Infosec, added via text message.

Routers direct data traffic across the internet. US-CERT said the compromised routers can be exploited for “man-in-the-middle” spoofing attacks, in which communications are intercepted by a seemingly trusted device that has actually been infiltrated by an attacker.

“The current state of U.S. network devices — coupled with a Russian government campaign to exploit these devices — threatens the safety, security, and economic well-being of the United States,” the alert stated. An email message seeking comment from the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., received no response.

US-CERT urged affected companies, and public sector organizations and even people …read more

Source:: Time – World

      

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