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U.S., Britain blame Russia for global cyber attack

From Reuters - April 16, 2018

(Reuters) - The United States and Britain on Monday accused Russia of launching cyber attacks on computer routers, firewalls and other networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators around the globe.

Washington and London issued a joint alert saying the campaign by Russian government-backed hackers was intended to advance spying, intellectual property theft and other malicious activities and could be escalated to launch offensive attacks.

It followed a series of warnings by Western governments that Moscow is behind a string of cyber attacks. The United States, Britain and other nations in February accused Russia of releasing the NotPetya virus, which in 2017 crippled parts of Ukraines infrastructure and damaged computers across the globe, costing companies billions of dollars.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Russias 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 has denied previous accusations that it carried out cyber attacks on the United States and other countries.

U.S. intelligence agencies last year accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 election with a hacking and propaganda campaign supporting Donald Trumps campaign for president. Last month the Trump administration blamed Russia for a campaign of cyber attacks that targeted the U.S. power grid.

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. They did not identify victims or provide details on the impact of the attacks.

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.

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