The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have released a report that accusing Russian hacking of attempting to break-in to US government organisation networks and even trying to penetrate US infrastructure, including the power sector.
The attacks include hacks in energy, nuclear, commercial, water, and aviation sectors, with the agencies claiming that they have been continuing for at least the past year.
The DHS report describes the attacks as "a multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors" and claims that those behind the attacks are targeting two types of entities.
The first group is organisations linked to their ultimate targets, such as third-party suppliers with networks that may be less secure than those of their main targets.
The Russian government cyber actors conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally and collected information pertaining to industrial control systems
Then, after gaining a foothold on their networks and gathering useful information, they conduct malware-bearing phishing campaigns on their main targets.
"After obtaining access, the Russian government cyber actors conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally and collected information pertaining to industrial control systems," the report stated.
Ben Read, a senior manager and cyber-espionage analyst at security firm FireEye, told Reuters: "People sort of suspected Russia was behind it, but today's statement from the US government carries a lot of weight."
However, the report didn't say what sort of impact the attacks may have had on the US infrastructure organisations.
The news comes just days after the White House followed the UK government in blaming Russia for last year's NotPetya cyber attacks, which affected hundreds of companies, including Maersk, Cadbury's, Reckitt Benckiser and TNT Express, among others.
The US government report carrying the Russian hacking claims came just hours after British Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad named and shamed the Russian military as perpetrators of the "devastating" NotPetya ransomware attack.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued the administration's formal statement. She called the NotPetya attacks "reckless and indiscriminate" and warned that Russia will be met with "international consequences".
The official statement went on to accuse "the Russian military" of launching "the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history".
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