THE US Government has issued a warning that energy and industrial firms are being targeted by sophisticated hackers, who experts believe could be linked to Russia.
In a report released on Friday, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have warned nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted by hackers along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May.
The agencies also warned that hackers were successful in compromising some targeted networks, but did not highlight specific victims or cases.
Homeland Security “has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign,” the report said
Cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has said the technical indicators outlined in the report suggest the attacks were by a hacking group it calls ’Berserk Bear’, which is affiliated with Russia and has targeted the energy, financial and transportation industries.
In an email, CrowdStrike Vice President Adam Meyers said: “We have not observed any destructive action by this actor.”
Robert Lee, chief executive of cyber-security firm Dragos, has said the report appears to describe hackers working in the interests of the Russian government.
The FBI has declined to comment on the report.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell also declined to elaborate on the information provided in the report.
He also did not say what prompted the US Government to go public with the information at this time.
Mr McConnell said: “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.”
Mr Lee said the report is unlikely to result in dramatic attacks in the near future, he did express concerns about the revelations.
He said: “We do not want our adversaries learning enough to be able to do things that are disruptive later.”