Russia is launching cyber attacks on computer routers, firewalls and other networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators around the globe, The United States and Britain have accused.
According to Reuters, 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.
“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.
The joint U.S.-UK announcement is the latest in a growing string of cases where Western governments have pointed a finger at Moscow for high-profile digital malfeasance — a significant shift in digital deterrence strategy.
Monday’s move is the fifth time in recent years that the U.S. government has called out the Kremlin for its digital behavior, either through agency statements or criminal indictments.
Ciaran Martin, head of the British National Cyber Security Centre, called the joint accusation evidence of “a significant moment in the transatlantic fight back against Russian aggression in cyberspace,” during a call with reporters.
Relations between Russia and Britain were already on edge after Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Moscow for the nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury in March.
“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 destabilise business,” a British government spokesman said in London.