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US and UK warn of wide-scale Russia hacking

Both UK and US governments have warned that Russian hackers are targeting millions of devices throughout the world, possibly in preparation for future cyber attacks.

The announcement marks the first ever joint alert by both the UK and US, and each urged both members of the public and businesses to help combat vulnerabilities with basic security precautions.

In conversation with The Independent, Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said that Russia is the, “most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace” and that all attacks uncovered by America had directly affected the UK.

Continuing, he said that: “This is sustained targeting of multiple entities over months that we believe the Russian state to be behind,” and that “the purpose of these attacks could be espionage, the theft of intellectual property and they could be positioned for use in times of tension.”

It is believed that there are millions of machines being targeted across the world, alongside tens of thousands of home devices in the UK that could be used for wider operations.

According to security services, hackers are using routers connected to people’s homes and offices to spy what is going through them so that they can harvest passwords, data, and other information that can be used in later attacks.

Security agencies also stressed that threats also comes from other countries, as well as criminals seeking profit.

Man-in-the-middle attacks are warned to be a major threat to the internet of things, as well as everyday websites.