Whenever a US agency launches a public warning regarding an imminent threat, people need to heed the government’s words. Most recently, there has been growing concern over hackers targeting local energy and industrial firms. If any of these attacks were successful, the US public infrastructure would be affected in a severe manner. We can only hope things don’t unravel to such a degree, although it is still a very real possibility.
US Public Infrastructure is at Risk
No one can deny hacking has become a far more potent threat over the past few years. It doesn’t matter where in the world one is located or what business they are involved in; hackers will come knocking sooner or later. In the case of the United States, this country has made quite a few political enemies over the past few years. So much so, in fact, that the government is now growing concerned over the possibility of major attacks taking place against the country’s public infrastructure.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI recently issued a public warning on the matter. More specifically, both agencies publicly voiced concerns that such attacks could take place against energy and industrial firms. While similar attacks have been thwarted in the past, state-sponsored hackers aren’t relenting by any means.
In particular, the nuclear, energy, aviation, water, and critical manufacturing industries have been affected by an increasing number of hacking attempts. It seems this trend became visible in May of this year, although it is possible there were previously undocumented attacks as well. Pinpointing the source of these attacks has proven to be somewhat problematic, but that shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone right now.
In most cases, assailants aim to compromise organizational networks with spear phishing email campaigns and malware. Once they successfully obtain sensitive credentials, they can wreak all kinds of havoc behind the scenes. Stealing information is one of the main concerns in this regard, but hackers may even gain administrator privileges and shut down critical services. It is impossible to predict the totality of what they could actually do in this regard, but it is best never to find out in the first place.
The Department of Homeland Security purposefully declined to comment further on who is responsible for these attacks or how they will be mitigated in the future. Seeing the US government go public with this information and issuing public warnings will certainly instill some fear into the hearts of citizens, although it remains to be seen how things will evolve in the coming months. It is always good to be transparent in this regard, as people should be aware of these issues at any given time.
Rest assured the United States is not the only country of interest to hackers and criminals these days. We have been seeing similar attacks taking place in Europe as well, mainly in Ukraine. It is evident hackers are taking things to the next level, and we can only hope security researchers can keep a lid on things before things really get out of hand. The threat is very real and needs to be taken seriously by everyone on this planet.