Russian hackers who claim “hundreds of victims” have managed to penetrate computer systems of US electrical installations.
The hackers reportedly resorted to common practices of compromising power plant suppliers, according to US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials who spoke to the Wall Street Journal . Through phishing e-mails and fake sites, they took possession of the identifiers of these companies to enter the computer systems of the electrical installations.
The hackers in question belong to an obscure group previously called Dragonfly or Energetic Bear, which would be funded by the Russian government. In 2017, the US security firm Symantec had already echoed Russian piracy activities in the US energy sector.
So, is all this really serious? “They got to the point where they could have caused cuts,” said Jonathan Homer, a DHS official. So it’s serious. And it turns out that the attacks, started in 2016, could continue, especially as some victims still do not know they have been the subject of a cyberattack.
As a reminder, Russian hackers attacked the Ukrainian power grid in December 2015 and caused a blackout for nearly a quarter of a million people. It only lasted a few hours, but maybe it was not what we could see bigger in terms of cyberattack. What if Russia only did one test in Ukraine?
DHS officials explained that the US power grid was targeted by Russian hackers depyis 2014, but that the number of victims was only a few dozen. This time there would have been hundreds.
After their cordial meeting in Helsinki , Donald Trump could perhaps politely ask Vladimir Putin if Russia is indeed behind these attacks, which could one day cause the paralysis of American cities and have effects on the economy of the country.