Russian Hackers Suspected in American Nuclear Site Cyber Intrusions

Several power plants, including a nuclear facility, were hacked by a foreign government.

July 7, 2017 9:14 am
Russia Suspected in Power Plant Hacks
Wolf Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant located near Burlington, Kansas, is one the 12 sites hacked by individuals believed to be working for the Russian government. (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

First Ukraine, and possibly now America.

Twelve power plants, including a nuclear facility in Kansas, were hacked by a foreign government—and Russia is the prime suspect. Current and former government officials are concerned the intrusions, which are still ongoing, could be preparation for a cyberattack on the electrical grid.

Fears of an attack on U.S. infrastructure grew after the same officials learned a company that produces industrial control systems used by power companies was hacked recently. Bloomberg reports that a general alert about the spate of cyber intrusions was disseminated throughout the government last week.

Three U.S. government employees working to eject the hackers from the power plant networks say there is evidence Russia is behind the intrusions, according to BloombergRussian hackers have shown a growing sophistication and interest in targeting infrastructure.

Wired reports the hackers have used Ukraine as a testing ground, taking down its electrical grid in 2015.

Tensions between the U.S. and its fellow superpower have escalated since investigations began over whether or not Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election. Last month, it was revealed that former President Barack Obama approved a covert cyber operation to plant “digital timebombs” in Russian infrastructure as relation for the hacking.

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