Senior security officials in the US 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.
"Whether an end user, private firm or device designer, there are straightforward measure we can take to make sure we get network security right, which includes building devices from the ground up to be secure by design because we have seen in this case default passwords and unsecured devices being exploited", he said.
"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 defense agency, who added that "millions of machines" were targeted. Last month the Trump administration blamed Russian Federation for a campaign of cyber attacks that targeted the USA power grid.
Washington and London issued a joint alert saying the campaign by Russian government-backed hackers was meant to advance spying, intellectual property theft and other "malicious" activities and could be escalated to launch offensive attacks. The announcement has come amid heightened tensions between the two countries and Russian Federation.
"Grizzly Steppe": The US Department of Homeland Security separately said the attack was part of a larger Russian-backed operation called "Grizzly Steppe". We'll continue to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour, so they're held accountable for what they do, and to help government and industry protect themselves.
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 global doctrine governing their use is still evolving. But unlike Russian Federation, we abide by the law, so anything we do would be proportionately done", said one source.