The US Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the FBI, has sent out a rare public warning to US citizens on behalf of the government warning them that cyber attacks on US nuclear, energy, aviation and manufacturing industries are to be expected in the coming weeks and months , and confirmed that there has already been such a (foiled) attack as recent as May of this year.
This is the latest sign that cyber attacks pose an ever greater threat to US security.
The Department of Homeland Security “has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign.”
In a confidential report written by the FBI and made over to the Department of Homeland Security over the summer which the press obtained a copy of, the FBI admits that a group of hackers have succeeded infiltrating some specific targets, which included one energy generator, and that they had been actively conducting reconnaissance on their networking grid.
The report was accompanied by six technical documents describing malware used in the attacks.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell “The technical alert provides recommendations to prevent and mitigate malicious cyber activity targeting multiple sectors and reiterated our commitment to remain vigilant for new threats,”
Groups working in the interests of the Russian government are mentioned in the document. Also being monitored are other groups targeting infrastructure that appear to be aligned with China, Iran and North Korea.
Mr Robert Lee, chief executive of cyber-security firm Dragos stated that “this is very aggressive activity, we don’t want our adversaries learning enough to be able to do things that are disruptive later.”
Representatives of the local FBI office near Reuters Washington Office (who broke the story) did not respond to requests for comment.