US, Britain blame Russian Federation for global cyber attack

UK Prime Minister Theresa May US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron

Western leaders have been planning a response to Saturday’s suspected chemical attack GETTY IMAGES

Russian Federation is preparing to mount cyber attacks on Britain's "critical infrastructure" including energy networks, the emergency services and the armed forces, GCHQ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have warned in the wake of the Syria air strikes. 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". Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory United States-led missile strikes on Syria over the weekend.

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.

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"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 cyber security coordinator.

In an extraordinary joint statement, authorities in the USA and the United Kingdom revealed that Russian Federation has been probing the cyber-defences to identify vulnerabilities that will "lay a foundation for future offensive operations".

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The United States and Britain on Monday warned of a global cyber attack targeting routers and other networking equipment, blaming Russian government-backed hackers for the campaign on government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators.

"We don't have full insight into the scope of the compromise", said U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber security official Jeanette Manfra. On Thursday, a British spy chief said that his GCHQ agency would "continue to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour", adding there would be increasing demand for its cyber expertise.

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