• Breanna Johns

U.S., U.K. issue joint alert on Russian hackers

On Monday, April 16, 2018, the U.S. and U.K. warned in an alert for organizations and individuals worldwide that Russian hackers are trying to gain access to the devices that control the flow of the internet.

The two governments are not sure how many devices have been “compromised”; they also do not know why Russia is doing this.

According to CNN, “The joint missive was the first time the US and UK governments have teamed up to put out such an alert. The warning says malicious Russian hackers have been targeting network infrastructure devices -- the types of devices that most internet traffic travels through, such as routers -- since 2015.”

Officials have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind this “campaign.”

After the alert, the Australian government issued a statement joining the U.S.-UK allies in expressing concern for the cyber-attack.

“Network infrastructure devices make particularly attractive targets as they are the nexus for massive amounts of internet traffic and tend to be maintained far less diligently than the devices that people use every day, like computers and mobile devices,” according to CNN.

The focus of the alert was how individuals and businesses can protect themselves from the attack, and to also call out Russia on their “bad behavior.”

Here are some steps from The Sun that you can take to protect yourself from the threat: use the latest anti-virus protection; delete out of date and risky software like Adobe's Flash; update your system software whenever your operator recommends; check to see whether your computer's fans are not whirring even when you aren't running a large program; update your router's software when recommended; and change your WiFi password from the default setting.