According to Homeland Security officials, state-sponsored Russian hackers compromised US utility networks in a campaign affecting ‘hundreds’ of victims.
The Wall Street Journal cites officials from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) claiming that hackers reached the point they ‘could have thrown switches’ to cause significant disruption.
Officials linked the hacks to a state-sponsored hacking group previously known as Dragonfly or Energetic Bear.
Back in June 2014, cybersecurity experts from Symantec released a white paper on Dragonfly/Energetic Bear. They noted the hackers appear to have been in operation since at least 2011 and compromised ‘a number of strategically important organizations.’
Their initial focus was on defense and aviation companies in the US and Canada before shifting its focus mainly to US and European energy firms in early 2013.
Symantec explains the group’s usual attack method: