U.S. Senators and energy sector officials recently warned that foreign adversaries are continuing to target the U.S. electrical grid and that the threat is growing.
The pandemic has created opportunity for cybercriminals to attack critical energy infrastructure and other networks. A successful hack, according to Senator Murkowski, could "shut down power, impacting hospitals, banks, gas pumps, military installations, and cell phone service" and lead to widespread and devastating consequences, particularly during a pandemic.
In July, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert stating that foreign cybercriminals were targeting critical infrastructure through internet-connected operational technology assets. The 2019 Worldwide Threats Assessment had similarly warned that Russia, China, and Iran had the capacity to "cause localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure" through a cyberattack.
The president of Siemens Energy, Inc. stated that their organization gets attacked thousands of times each day. According to Senator King, one utility sector system is being attacked three million times a day. Maggie Miller "Officials warn of increasing threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic" thehill.com (Aug. 05, 2020).