Russian hackers supporting the Kremlin have penetrated deeply into the cyber infrastructure of the United Kingdom and the United States and, in case of Vladimir Putin's order, are ready to attack, the authorities of the two countries reporte.

Tens of thousands of devices in British and American households and institutions, including WiFi-routers, are compromised by Russian pro-Kremlin hackers who find vulnerabilities and get inside the systems. The aim of hackers is to execute a cyber attack, in case if the Russian authorities give them such an order, and also to steal intellectual property from enterprises.

The National Cyber Security Centre of the United Kingdom, the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the White House, reported that Russian hackers managed to penetrate the cyber infrastructure of the United States and Great Britain so much that the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin concentrated “tremendous weapon”.

"The current state of US and UK network devices, coupled with a Russian government campaign to exploit these devices, threatens our respective safety, security, and economic well-being," the joint statement said.

According to Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Russian cyber experts aimed directly at the UK government and elements of the national critical infrastructure. According to the center, Russian hackers penetrated tens of thousands of British routers, including those produced by Cisco, monitored private messages, being able also to delete or corrupt the content of correspondence and are ready to perform cyber attacks. The ability to monitor the networks and routers of ordinary households connected to the Internet allows Russia to launch powerful DoS attacks that could potentially damage health, energy and water systems, according to the british Cybersecurity Center.

“Once you own the router, you own all the traffic [that flows through the router], to include the ability to harvest credentials, passwords, essentially monitor all traffic,” Rob Joyce, the White House’s cybersecurity co-ordinator, said.

“Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace,” Martin added.

The White House informed of its readiness to repel cyber attacks initiated by Russian hackers and to carry out preventive offensive cyber attacks. “All elements of US power are available to push back on these types of intrusions,” Joyce said.

After Donald Trump came to power in the US, the number of Russian IT experts detained abroad, which were later extradited to the US instead of to Russia, increased dramatically. In total, in the last ten years, 40 Russians were arrested in the third countries at the request of the US authorities, 11 of them being detained in 2017.