Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Millions targeted in suspected Russian cyber-attack

Millions targeted in suspected Russian cyber-attack

The likely targets would be internet service providers, governments, the private sector and critical infrastructure, according to a joint statement from the British National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Homeland Security.

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.

Also on Monday, Western countries accused Moscow on Monday of preventing inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.

Separately, the White House has said American objectives in Syria have not altered, reiterating that President Donald Trump wants USA troops home "as quickly as possible".

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They cited cyber security research organisations and other governments as providing evidence of such attacks, without providing details of their timing or scale.

"Russian government activities continue to threaten our respective safety, security, and the very integrity of our cyber ecosystem", she said.

Mrs May accused Russian Federation and Syria of attempting to cover up the attack.

The strikes have ratcheted up worldwide tension, as the USA and Russian Federation exchanged threats of retaliation.

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"The current state of U.S. and United Kingdom network devices, coupled with a Russian government campaign to exploit these devices, threatens our respective safety, security, and economic well-being", the technical alert said.

Last week, at the NCSC's CyberUK conference in Manchester, GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said GCHQ has monitored and countered the growing cyber threat the Russian Federation poses to the United Kingdom and its allies for more than two decades.

"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 defence agency, who added that "millions of machines" were targeted.

"The US mission has not changed - the President has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible", press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

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A joint United Nations-OPCW mission concluded that troops under President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons several times in recent years, including a sarin attack a year ago in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed almost 100 people.

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