Infrastructure - Transpo

U.S. Steps Up Grid Defense

from The Wall Street Journal,

Red line set for cyberattacks on infrastructure after Russian agents penetrated utility control rooms

Top administration officials are devising new penalties to hit back more forcefully at state-sponsored hackers of critical infrastructure to deter attacks such as the successful penetration of U.S. utilities by Russian agents last year. The push for explicit action is coming from top federal agencies to fight worsening threats to the country’s electricity system and other critical industries, particularly menacing actions from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Hackers working for the Russian government claimed “hundreds of victims” last year in a campaign against the energy sector that ultimately put them inside the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities where they could have caused blackouts, officials with the Department of Homeland Security said in briefing last month. The events have forced “an evolution in the U.S. government’s thinking about how to deter malicious cyberactors,” said Robert L. Strayer, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary in charge of cybersecurity matters, in an interview. Spearheading the effort are the departments of State, Treasury and Defense, among other major agencies, according to government officials.

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