Reports from cybersecurity researchers say that a group of Russian hackers have been “attacking energy companies in the U.S. and Europe and may be capable of disrupting power supplies“, according to a recent article published on the Montreal Gazette web site. The article indicates that, according to researchers, this group has “the resources, size and organization that suggest government involvement.” The group of hackers, known as both “Energetic Bear” and “Dragonfly” have their aim focused on “grid operators, petroleum pipeline operators, electricity generation firms and other “strategically important” energy companies“, according to the report.
The article notes that activities like this amplify the seriousness and need for clear attention on the ever expanding “reach of cyberattacks” as more parts of the current world and “the economy become connected and controlled via the Web” According to the article, attacks and events like these may be clear symptoms of nations and their governments “using hacking to support political strategies.” Reports clarify that Symantec found “more than half of the infections in the U.S. and Spain” while it also said that “Serbia, Greece, Romania, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Italy and France were also targeted.”
The report indicates that, according to researchers at Symantec, hacker groups who have been active since 2011 were found “to work a standard week, operating 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, in a time zone shared by Russia and other eastern European countries.” Eric Chien, chief researcher at Symantec’s Security Technology and Response Team,was quoted in the article to say, “The Dragonfly group is well resourced, with a range of malware tools at its disposal and is capable of launching attacks through a number of different vectors. These infections not only gave attackers a beachhead in the targeted organizations’ networks, but also gave them the means to mount sabotage operations.”