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Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security accuse Russian Federation of cyberattacks on USA infrastructure

16 March 2018

John Keeley, a spokesman for the industry group the Nuclear Energy Institute, said: "There has been no successful cyber attack against any U.S. nuclear facility, including Wolf Creek".

Beginning in March 2016 or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers targeted government entities and multiple United States critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to the alert.

In it, officials say Russian government digital actors are targeting American energy organizations along with government entities and other critical infrastructure sectors.

Then, after gaining a foothold on their networks and gathering useful information, they conduct malware-bearing phishing campaigns on their main targets.

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But the alert provided a link to an analysis by the U.S. cyber security firm Symantec previous year that said a group it had dubbed Dragonfly had targeted United States and European energy companies and in some cases successfully broken into the core systems that control the companies' operations.

Officials say that since at least early 2016, "Russian government cyber actors" have targeted multiple US infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, aviation and water.

"Our systems are constantly being attacked, constantly", said Menezes.

However, the report didn't say what sort of impact the attacks may have had on the U.S. infrastructure organisations.

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According to the alert, in many cases the threat actors accessed workstations and servers on a corporate network that contained data output from control systems within energy generation facilities.

In recent weeks, senior United States intelligence officials said that the Kremlin believes it can launch hacking operations against the West with impunity.

Russia, for its part, has vowed to retaliate against the new sanctions.

"The initial victims are peripheral organizations such as trusted third-party suppliers with less secure networks", the alert states. National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and Federal Bureau of Investigation judge the ultimate objective of the actors is to compromise organisational networks, also referred to as the "intended target'". The threat actors used the staging targets' networks as pivot points and malware repositories when targeting their final intended victims. It was not clear what impact the attacks had on the firms that were targeted.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security accuse Russian Federation of cyberattacks on USA infrastructure