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Russian hackers targeting millions of devices around the world, US and UK warn
September 18, 2016
ntelligence agencies say spying could be preparation for future attacks
Russian hackers are targeting millions of devices around the world to spy, steal information and build networks for potentially devastating future cyberattacks, the US and UK have revealed.
The first ever joint “technical alert” from the two countries urged members of the public and businesses to help combat vulnerabilities with basic security precautions. Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – an arm of British intelligence agency GCHQ – said Russia was its “most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace”.
In a call with The Independent and other outlets, he said all attacks uncovered by American security services had directly affected the UK, including intrusion into the energy sector.
“There are millions of machines being globally targeted, trying to seize control over connectivity.”
The total is believed to include tens of thousands of home devices in the UK alone, which could be used “at scale” for wider operations.
“This is sustained targeting of multiple entities over months that we believe the Russian state to be behind,” Mr Martin added.
“The purpose of these attacks could be espionage, the theft of intellectual property and they could be positioned for use in times of tension.