Hackers working for Russia penetrated the US electric utilities network last year, which could have caused blackouts, The Wall Street Journal has claimed, citing federal officials.
According to Jonathan Gomer, who is chief of industrial safety analysis at the US Department of Homeland Security, hackers from the group Dragonfly or Energetic Bear, allegedly sponsored by the Russian government, put themselves inside the control rooms of protected and isolated networks of US power companies.
Gomer did not name the companies affected by cyberattacks, saying only that “hundreds” of them had been hacked.
According to the newspaper, the hackers resorted to all kinds of ploys to extract passwords of “hundreds of their victims” and gain access to energy utilities networks.
The Department of Homeland Security is now looking for factual evidence of cyberattacks by alleged Russian hackers, which US officials claim are likely to continue, the WSJ wrote.
The report comes amid an ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Russia has insisted that it has never tampered with US elections and that the accusations hold no water.