The temperature in the cyberwar between the USA and Russia has ratcheted up another notch. It now appears that a state-sponsored Russian hacking team penetrated the US electricity network in 2017 – and may still be lurking inside it. This gives them the potential to inflict multiple power failures.
The attackers, who call themselves Energetic Bear or Dragonfly, garnered passwords through social engineering exploits; using them to purloin log-in credentials that gave them access to energy suppliers’ computer systems.
The Department of Homeland Security has concerns that this may be the prelude to a major cyber assault on US critical infrastructure. Coming on the back of the indictment of twelve Russian agents and further investigations into Russian tampering in the 2016 Presidential Election, cyber relations between the former cold war foes are currently far from cordial.