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US justice dept says disrupted hacking network affiliated with Russian intelligence

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Washington: The United States Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday that it disrupted a hacking network with ties to Russian intelligence.

“The Justice Department is accelerating our efforts to disrupt the Russian government’s cyber campaigns against the United States and our allies, including Ukraine. In this case, Russian intelligence services turned to criminal groups to help them target home and office routers, but the Justice Department disabled their scheme,” wrote US Attorney General Merrick Garland in the statement.

According to the statement, this is the second time in two months that the Justice Department has disrupted state-sponsored hackers from using compromised US routers to launch cyber attacks.

Through a court-ordered operation, US authorities neutralised the network, which utilised hundreds of small office and home office (SOHO) routers allegedly controlled by Russian intelligence as a screen for a ‘variety of crimes,’ the statement said.

The FBI is currently working to notify the owners of infected SOHO routers covered by the court’s authorisation.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said accusing Russia of hacking is one of the world’s most favourite hobbies. Russian authorities have repeatedly denied involvement in cyber attacks and hacking activities and expressed their readiness to cooperate in the fight against hackers and conduct a dialogue on cybersecurity

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