The alert follows an advisory notice released by the NCSC earlier this month which warned that companies connected to British critical national infrastructure were being targeted by attackers, citing cybersecurity reports which suggested the hackers were based in eastern Europe.
The alert - published on the US-CERT website - warns that the "current state of US network devices - coupled with a Russian government campaign to exploit these devices - threatens the safety, security, and economic well-being of the United States".
"It's a tremendous weapon in the hands of an adversary", echoed the FBI's Howard Marshall, the deputy assistant director of the cyber division.
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Government-backed Russian hackers are using compromised routers and other network infrastructure to conduct espionage and potentially lay the groundwork for future offensive cyber operations, United Kingdom and U.S. authorities have warned.
In a statement made by a spokesperson at the Russian Embassy in London, "We consider these accusations and speculations as striking examples of a reckless, provocative and unfounded policy against Russia".
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". The joint report didn't identity any companies that have been affected, or the number of devices that have already been hacked.
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"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 cybersecurity practices". "People don't change the passwords on their routers or if they get it they make it really easy for someone to guess". Those outdated devices included routers and devices that had a default or no password and devices that were no longer supported. One: continuing the pressure campaign on nations that exploit others on the Internet.
White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said the United States and its allies had "high confidence" that Russian Federation was behind the campaign.
While it the extent of the attack remains unclear, Ciaran Martin, head of the UK's NCSC, noted that numerous machines targeted had been "seized by hackers", adding that hacks were being tracked by British intelligence from a year ago. Update, 11:30 a.m. PT: Includes details from the joint technical alert.
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