Senior security officials in the USA and United Kingdom issued a joint statement Monday blaming Russia for a "malicious" cyber offensive aimed at stealing intellectual property and possible espionage to support the "Russian Federation's national security and economic goals", ABC News reports.
Hackers backed by the Russian government exploited "large numbers of" routers and switches around the world since 2015. But Russia's embassy in London issued a statement citing British accusations of cyber threats from Moscow as "striking examples of a reckless, provocative and unfounded policy against Russia".
Ukraine attack: Washington and London blamed Moscow in February for a debilitating 2017 cyber attack against Ukraine called "NotPetya", which also damaged IT devices worldwide.
The attack focused on governments, businesses, "critical infrastructure", and internet service providers. Russia has heavily criticized the US, UK and France for launching airstrikes against Russia-ally Syria, while Washington and London have accused Moscow of responsibility for a nerve-agent attack against a former Russian double agent in southern England. The statement did not identify any victims by name.
United States and U.K. relations with Vladimir Putin's administration are at a low, following the use of nerve agent to poison a former double agent in Britain in March and the US-led bombing of Syria over the weekend.
Britain and the United States said they issued the new alert to help targets protect themselves and persuade victims to share information with government investigators so they can better understand the threat.
Rob Joyce, the White House cyber-security coordinator has issued a range of actions including sanctions and indictments upon Russian Federation.
The alert is not related to the suspected chemical weapons attack in a town in Syria that prompted a US -led military strike over the weekend targeting facilities of the Russian-backed Syrian government, Joyce said.
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".