Officials from the United Kingdom and United States publicly accused the Russian government of coordinating a global cyber-attack Monday; saying Kremlin-backed hackers have “infected” computer systems around the world.
According to Reuters, US and British authorities told reporters this week that Russian-financed computer experts have been waging a cyber war against the NATO nations going back to 2016.
The hackers reportedly targeted key routers at integral infrastructure hot-spots throughout Europe and North America; specifically targeting government agencies, large corporations, financial institutions, and energy sectors.
“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.
The warning comes weeks after the Trump administration indicted 13 Russian nationals for “sowing disorder” throughout the 2016 race for the White House.
COLD WAR 2: Putin Unveils ‘INVINCIBLE’ Missile, Says US ‘FAILED’ to Contain Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin raised eyebrows throughout Washington Thursday, unveiling a new intercontinental ballistic missile he referred to as “invincible” and saying the United States “failed to contain” Russia’s military expansion and global ambitions.
Putin was speaking at his annual ‘State of the Nation’ speech when he pulled back the curtain on his new missile arsenal, claiming the “hypersonic” weapon can’t be intercepted by US defenses.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”
Putin went on to directly threaten the US and European powers, adding that any “nuclear attack” on a Russian ally would be treated as a direct assault on Russia itself; a likely reference to the ongoing Syrian civil war.
“We would consider any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies to be a nuclear attack on our country. The response would be immediate,” he added.
Putin BLAMES USA for 2018 Russian Olympics Ban
Russian President Vladimir Putin openly blamed the United States on Wednesday for the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, saying it was a “well-orchestrated campaign” by American officials hoping to win more medals.
“All this looks like an absolutely well-orchestrated campaign and a politically motivated decision,” Putin told Russian news on Wednesday. “We see this and I have no doubts about that.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister also trashed the decision this week, blasting Washington’s use of “dirty and political tricks” to boot his country from the international games.
“For a long time we’ve experienced attempts by the United States to put pressure on international sports organizations,” he said. “We are for competition in sports and for ridding this sphere of dirty political tricks. We do hope that this approach will prevail in Washington sooner or later.”
On Tuesday, the IOC officially banned Russian athletes from competing in the upcoming games following years of suspected doping scandals and the use of under-aged women in various competitions.
The IOC has said that specific athletes who comply with rigorous drug testing and screening will be allowed to compete as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)” but will not be permitted to use their national flag or anthem.