US blames Russia for cyber-attacks against power grid

The US administration publicly blamed Russia for a campaign of cyber-attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted power grid including nuclear facilities. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued a joint Technical Alert which provides information on Russian government cyber activity targeting energy and other critical infrastructure sectors. The Technical Alert claims that Russian government cyber actors targeted small commercial facilities’ networks where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks, after which they conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally, and collected information pertaining to Industrial Control Systems (ICS). National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center and the FBI believe that the ultimate objective of the actors is to compromise organizational networks. Cybersecurity experts estimate that this level of access could have given Russia the ability to turn off the power grid.