While Barack Obama was busy in the White House, plotting with Black Lives Matter activists and Al Sharpton to divide our nation, the Russians were working to infiltrate our power grids…It’s good to know we have a President who takes our national security seriously, back in the White House.

In March 2014, The Russian Times (RT) published an article about the vulnerabilities of the US Power grids:

US power grid could be knocked out by a handful of substation attacks, says report

The entire US power grid could be shut down for more than a month if just nine of the over 55,000 electric substations placed throughout the nation were sabotaged by terrorists or other criminals, according to a new report.

A study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) found that just a handful of American substations provide much of the electricity that flows to large swaths of the country, sources familiar with the analysis told Rebecca Smith of the Wall Street Journal. Aside from nuclear power plants there are no federal rules requiring utilities to be protected.

This study, though, found that disabling just nine of these substations could leave much of the country without power for weeks, or possibly even months. There are an estimated 30 “crucial” substations that rely on large power transformers to increase the electricity’s voltage, thereby giving it the capability to move long distances.

The Journal report this week is only the first time the results of the study have been made public. Some officials have known about the results for months and have admitted that they would be open to updating security around the plants as well as changing the way electricity is delivered to Americans.

Former FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff was one of the officials who briefed top US lawmakers on the contents of the report. He recommended that officials propose new security standards for the crucial facilities no later than June.

Yesterday, The Department of Homeland Security and FBI reported that the Russian government was responsible for a “multi-stage intrusion campaign, and had gained remote access to our energy sector networks during former President Barack Obama’s final term in office:

Reuters – The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted the U.S. power grid, marking the first time the United States has publicly accused Moscow of hacking into American energy infrastructure.

Beginning in March 2016, or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to a U.S. security alert published Thursday.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI said in the alert that a “multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors” had targeted the networks of small commercial facilities “where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks.” The alert did not name facilities or companies targeted.

The direct condemnation of Moscow represented an escalation in the Trump administration’s attempts to deter Russia’s aggression in cyberspace, after senior U.S. intelligence officials said in recent weeks the Kremlin believes it can launch hacking operations against the West with impunity.

It coincided with a decision Thursday by the U.S. Treasury Department to impose sanctions on 19 Russian people and five groups, including Moscow’s intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other malicious cyber attacks.

Russia in the past has denied it has tried to hack into other countries’ infrastructure, and vowed on Thursday to retaliate for the new sanctions.

‘UNPRECEDENTED AND EXTRAORDINARY’

U.S. security officials have long warned that the United States may be vulnerable to debilitating cyber attacks from hostile adversaries. It was not clear what impact the attacks had on the firms that were targeted.

But Thursday’s alert provided a link to an analysis by the U.S. cyber security firm Symantec last fall that said a group it had dubbed Dragonfly had targeted energy companies in the United States and Europe and in some cases broke into the core systems that control the companies’ operations.

 


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