United Kingdom and U.S. accuse Russian Federation of cyber attack that compromised global networks

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The chief of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) based at GCHQ in Cheltenham, Glos, said Russian Federation was "our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace" and that "dealing with their attacks is a major priority" for British and American spooks.

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.

In February, the British foreign office officially put on the Russian government responsible for a massive cyber attack using a virus-the extortioner NotPetya that they gave in June past year, hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

"We don't have full insight into the scope of the compromise", said U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber security official Jeanette Manfra. "The NCSC is leading the way globally to issue advice and automate defences at scale to remove those basic attacks, thereby allowing us to focus on the most potent threats", he said.

"Russia is not planning to conduct any cyber attacks against the United Kingdom". The announcement has come amid heightened tensions between the two countries and Russian Federation.

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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. On Thursday, a British spy chief said that his GCHQ agency would "continue to expose Russia's unacceptable cyber behaviour", adding there would be increasing demand for its cyber expertise.

This approach, said Fleming, has worked against Daesh and could work against other national security challenges too.

Vital transport links, water supplies, gas networks, banks, hospitals and air traffic control could be targeted following the US-led strikes, The Mirror reports.

"We had an attack on the Foreign Ministry where we have to assume that it stemmed from Russian Federation", he said.

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