DHS, FBI Warn of Cyberattack Threat to Nation's Power Grid
By Cathy Burke - Saturday, 09 Apr 2016
The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have launched a nationwide campaign to warn of the dangers of cyberattacks on U.S. utilities, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
The campaign, which began March 31, includes briefings in eight cities, and web-based seminars for electrical power infrastructure companies and others involved in security, the newspaper reports.
According to the newspaper, sessions will share information the Ukranian government gleaned from a December cyberattack that caused a blackout affecting 225,000 customers without power.
"These events represent one of the first known physical impacts to critical infrastructure which resulted from cyber-attack," a DHS announcement declares, according to Free Beacon's report.
"The attacks leveraged commonly available tools and tactics against the control systems which could be used against infrastructure in every sector."
Security researchers have concluded the attack in Ukraine was carried out by Russian government hackers based on the type of malicious software, called BlackEnergy, that was used, the newspaper reports.
The information campaign comes just two months after an internal DHS intelligence report stated the risk of a cyberattack against U.S. electrical infrastructure was low, Free Beacon reports.
But Adm. Mike Rogers, commander of the Cyber Command, warned last month a major cyberattack by nation-states against critical infrastructures poses a major security threat.
"It is only a matter of the 'when,' not the 'if'—we're going to see a nation-state, group, or actor engage in destructive behavior against critical infrastructure in the United States," Rogers, who is also director of the National Security Agency, said in a speech March 2.
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