The Wall Street Journal quoted Homeland Security officials reporting various attacks.
“Hackers working for Russia claimed “hundreds of victims” last year in a long-running campaign that put them inside the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities where they could have caused blackouts, federal officials said.” states the WSJ.
The officials sustain that the Energetic Bear APT has already penetrated “hundreds” of systems in national power grids.
The DHS issued several alerts related to the APT attacks and shared technical details about their TTPs, including Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) to detect their presence in the IT infrastructure.
Cyber intrusions of critical infrastructure are part of long-term information warfare strategy.
Russians APT Groups carried out spear-phishing attacks against utilities’ equipment vendors and sub subtractors to gather intelligence and collect information to penetrate the infrastructure.
Hackers aim at the exploitation of the accesses into the utilities used by equipment makers and suppliers for ordinary maintenance and telemetry. Their accesses could allow them to deploy malware into the facilities.
Unfortunately, the attacks are still ongoing, many critical infrastructure are operated by private companies with pour cyber hygiene.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the operators totally ignore the presence of the attackers into their networks.
“They got to the point where they could have thrown switches,” Jonathan Homer, chief of industrial control system analysis for Homeland Security, told the paper.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.