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Russian hackers analyze US energy systems, FBI says


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“The threat from Russia in a criminal sense, in a nation-state sense, is very, very real, and present”said Bryan Vorndran, deputy director of the cyber division of the FBI, during a hearing in the United States House of Representatives.

© Getty — Bill Hinton

US authorities are concerned about critical infrastructure in the United States. And for good reason, Russian hackers scanned the systems of energy companies and other infrastructure in the country, according to a senior official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) quoted by Reuters.

The latter also indicates that this hack is supported by the Russian state, which represents a risk for American national security. “The threat from Russia in a criminal sense, in a nation-state sense, is very, very real, and present”said Bryan Vorndran, deputy director of the cyber division of the FBI, during a hearing before a panel of members of the United States House of Representatives.

Russia is “one of the two most formidable cyber adversaries” of the world

Indeed, the most famous federal police in the world ensures that the networks “Russian analysis” in the energy sector in the United States have increased recently, which makes Bryan Vorndran say that such activity represents a “recognition phase” by Russia to try to understand a company’s defense mechanisms, and thus identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited. “It is an extremely important part of the overall attacks”he said.

For the FBI, Russia thus represents “one of the two most formidable cyber adversaries we face in the world”. As a precaution, the Russian antivirus software publisher Kaspersky has been blacklisted by the American authorities, alongside many Chinese companies such as Huawei.

Biden’s warning ignored by Putin

The concern of the FBI, victim of an intrusion into its external messaging system at the end of 2021, is all the greater since Joe Biden, well before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had openly declared that certain critical infrastructures should not be subject to cyberattacks. This warning to Vladimir Putin applied to 16 different types of infrastructure, including telecommunications, healthcare, food and energy.

The White House’s warning was obviously ignored by the Kremlin, which is currently awash in cyberattacks. Russia, which is the most targeted country in the world by cyber threats since the start of the war in Ukraine, also accuses the United States of having mobilized “a computer army” volunteer civilians to multiply computer attacks against Russian interests.



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