UK, US Accuse Russia Of Cyber Campaign Against Politicians
Muhammad Irfan Published December 08, 2023 | 10:10 AM
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th Dec, 2023) The UK government and the United States on Thursday accused Russian security services of engaging in a sustained cyber-espionage campaign against top politicians, journalists and NGOs.
In the latest claims, the foreign ministry said Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) was behind "unsuccessful attempts to interfere in UK political processes" and said it had summoned Russia's ambassador to London about the issue.
US prosecutors meanwhile unsealed charges against two Russian nationals over the hacking of computer networks in Britain, the United States and other NATO countries. Those two men now face sanctions in both countries.
"In sanctioning those responsible and summoning the Russian ambassador today, we are exposing their malign attempts at influence and shining a light on yet another example of how Russia chooses to operate on the global stage," he said.
Cameron's office said Centre 18, a unit within the FSB, was accountable for "a range of cyber espionage operations" targeting the UK.
One of the two men charged in the United States was an officer in that unit.
The two men indicted in the United States, Ruslan Aleksandrovich Peretyatko and Andrei Stanislavovich Korinets, are not in US custody.
Each faces one charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years for Peretyatko and up to 10 years for Korinets, the Justice Department said, updating an earlier statement.
Attackers often undertake "reconnaissance activity around their target" to make the attempts more effective, according to the UK's National Cyber Security Centre.
The State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to their location and arrest.
- Targeting officials -
In January, UK cyber-security chiefs warned that Russia and Iran were increasingly targeting government officials, journalists and NGOs with spear-fishing attacks in order to "compromise sensitive systems".
The NCSC, part of the UK's signals intelligence agency GCHQ, urged greater vigilance about techniques and tactics used as well as mitigation advice.
It said the Russia-based group SEABORGIUM and the Iran-based TA453 had targeted a range of organisations and individuals in the UK and abroad throughout 2022.
Last year, a British newspaper reported that suspected Kremlin agents hacked ex-prime minister Liz Truss's cellphone when she was foreign minister.
"They create false accounts, impersonate contacts, appear legitimate and create a believable approach seeking to build a rapport before delivering a malicious link to either a document or website of interests," he said.
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