The United States and United Kingdom on Monday accused that the Russian government of supporting hackers to infect computer routers around the world targeting government agencies, businesses and infrastructure operators.
U.S and UK officials told reporters in a conference call that they plan to issue a joint alert on the attacks, which target routers that form a key part of the internet infrastructure, in a cyber espionage campaign that could be levered in the future to launch offensive attacks.
"When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious nation state actors, we are going to push back," said Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator.
U.S. and UK officials said the "millions" of infected routers could be leveraged to launch future offensive cyber operations.
The Russian attacks have affected a wide range of organizations including internet service providers, private-sector firms and critical infrastructure providers, the officials said.
The Russian government has not responded to the accusations yet.