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News and informationOn The Water Front

Russians Attack US and European Utilities

In October 2017, The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation distributed an email warning that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May 2017.

The aim is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to get credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said.

On Thursday the Trump administration got around to accusing Russia of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.

According to the NY Times, [i] United States officials and private security firms saw the attacks as a signal by Moscow that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities in the event of a conflict.

They said the strikes accelerated in late 2015, at the same time the Russian[amazon_link asins=’1538728753′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f565d190-28c1-11e8-8f04-516e1b15166a’] interference in the American election was underway. The attackers had successfully compromised some operators in North America and Europe by spring 2017, after President Trump’s inauguration.[amazon_link asins=’1510735852′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’27a48561-28c2-11e8-b856-45cf52597662′]

In the following months, according to a Department of Homeland Security report issued on Thursday, Russian hackers made their way to machines with access to critical control systems at power plants that were not identified. The hackers never went so far as to sabotage or shut down the computer systems that guide the operations of the plants.

Endnote:

[i] Perlroth, Nichole, Sanger, David E., “Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says. at: https://goo.gl/peJp1J

 

About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of Nevada-today.com and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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