Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Australia blames Russian Federation over hacking of 400 companies in 2017

US British Governments Warn Businesses Worldwide of Russian Campaign to Hack Routers Treasury Sanctions Iranian Cyber Actors for Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities Targeting Hundreds of Universities
Kenny Thornton | 17 April, 2018, 11:21

"Targets are primarily government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors".

"We'll continue to follow the actions of our Russian adversaries and we'll bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyber space", said Howard Marshall, Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Joyce said the alert is unrelated to the joint U.S., British and French airstrike in Syria that was prompted by a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Russian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Officials said they had "high confidence" that the Russian government was behind the campaign.

"This attempt by Russian Federation is a sharp reminder that Australian businesses and individuals are constantly targeted by malicious state and non-state actors, and we must maintain rigorous cyber security practices", Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said.

It's the first time that the U.S. and the United Kingdom have issued joint advice to industry on mitigating attacks at the same time, something which Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre said "marks an important step in our fight back against state-sponsored aggression in cyberspace".

These "cyber actors" are identifying vulnerable devices to break into, where they can extract device configurations, harvest login details, and control the traffic that goes through the router.

Speaking Tuesday in Canberra, Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne said up to 400 businesses in that country may also have been targeted by the campaign, but she added authorities did not believe "there has been any exploitation of significance".

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In February, Twin Galaxies fielded a complaint by another gamer challenging three of Mitchell's scores. The gamer questioned whether Mitchell actually earned the marks on an arcade machine.

This type of attack allows hackers to monitor modify and deny traffic; and it allows them to harvest credentials and passwords of unsuspecting users, explained officials.

One way to protect against this is for Americans and others to change the passwords on their routers, the officials said.

"Our focus today is twofold".

"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.

"Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace", said Ciaran Martin, chief executive officer of Britain's NCSC.

Martin said the attacks could be designed for spying, stealing intellectual property or possibly "prepositioning for use in times of heightened tension".

Russian Federation has not responded to the joint alert.

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