Russian hackers breached U.S. nuclear power-plant systems

The report comes less than a day after President Trump and Russian President Putin said that they will form a joint cybersecurity working group.
By Miriam Griffin | Jul 11, 2017
Election systems weren't the only U.S.-based networks that Russian hackers have successfully targeted in the past year: According to the Washington Post, cyber-intruders paid by the Russian government have also breached U.S. energy companies, including a number of nuclear power plants. The Post's story, which it bases on interviews with unnamed U.S. officials, said that the hackers appear to have accessed the companies' personnel files and gained extensive knowledge of the company networks' capabilities.
There is no evidence that hackers seized control of any plants or disrupted any power systems. But the officials expressed worry that hackers may follow through on more extensive and destructive cyberattacks in the future.
Numerous U.S. agencies are on alert over the energy-hacking threat. The NSA reportedly detected the cyber-activity and attributed it to Russia's chief governmental spy agency, the FSB. And both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued warnings to energy industry leaders that hackers are after their networksalthough it did not explicitly say that the hackers were Russian.
The report comes less than a day after President Trump and Russian President Putin said that they will form a joint cybersecurity working group. Putin described this new group as a means "to prevent interference in the domestic affairs of foreign states, primarily in Russia and the U.S."
The joint working group has drawn ridicule on both sides of the U.S. political spectrum, even from some Republican stalwarts. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that it would be "akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'" And South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it was close to "the dumbest idea I've ever heard."

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