US agencies on Wednesday (Feb 16) warned US-cleared defence contractors (CDCs) about possible cyberattacks by Russian state-sponsored actors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have observed such cyber targeting from at least January 2020 through February 2022, the agencies said in a joint advisory.

These continued intrusions have enabled the actors to acquire sensitive, unclassified information, as well as CDC-proprietary and export-controlled technology, the advisory said.

The acquired information provides significant insight into US weapons platforms development and deployment timelines, vehicle specifications, and plans for communications infrastructure and information technology.

The agencies urged all cleared defence contractors to apply the recommended countermeasures regardless of whether there is evidence they have been compromised.

The warning comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia as the West fears Russia is planning to attack Ukraine, which Moscow denies.

On Tuesday, the networks of Ukraine’s defence ministry and two banks were knocked offline, with Ukraine’s information security centre pointing the finger at neighbouring Russia.

Kyiv has blamed Moscow for similar actions in the past and since Russia began massing more than 100,000 troops near its border.

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