U.S. Cyber Command Inserts Malicious Code in Russian Power Grid

U.S. Takes Proactive Measure to Thwart Russian Attacks

The U.S. Cyber Command is attempting to minimize the realization of Russian cyber attacks by taking a preemptive strike against Russian power grids and other targets.

Due to the sensitivity on the matter, very few details are being released. But here’s what we do know.

The U.S. Cyber Command has inserted code into Russia’s power grid and other potential targets. This code can be maliciously executed if directed to do so. However, for the time being, it will lay dormant.

Is this even legal?

Yes. It’s permitted by a law passed last summer, which approves “clandestine military activity” in cyberspace to “deter, safeguard or defend” against attacks.

Now the question is, will this measure deter or trigger Russian cyber attacks against the U.S.? Unfortunately, we may find out sooner than later. Just days ago the Russian hacking group Xenotime made news for laying the groundwork to attack U.S. power companies.

What do you think — is the U.S. poking a sleeping bear, or simply putting on armor to defend for the fight? Drop your comments below.

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44 thoughts on “U.S. Cyber Command Inserts Malicious Code in Russian Power Grid

  1. My PC Matic went done on 6/25/2017. It did not work on my computer on 6/25/2017. The PC Matic did not work no more PC Matic and on 6/25/2016 the year be for it was a scam on Facebook for $1,500.00. I when too U.S. Department of the Treasury.

  2. Im pretty sure doing anything like that could be perceived as an act of war. Thats the main reason I dont believe this story. Also if we did do this it sure as hell wouldnt be released to the public.

  3. It’s not impossible that this is a variant of ‘Albert, RN’ – a crafty piece of disinformation that costs almost nothing to produce, but engenders a great deal of effort on the part of the supposed ‘enemy’ in trying to deal with something that doesn’t actually exist. It could well take the Russians a LOT of time and effort to deal with this malicious software – because there’s nothing to find. Remember, it’s almost impossible to prove a negative…

  4. Texas has its own grid which stands independent of the other two so the whole country is not likely to go down because of a grid failure. Since mutual stability has been recognized as a weakness from past experience I am fairly certain the other grids now are implementing or have already implemented features to quickly break a running area free of another that is pulling it down on a fault or massive generation failure. That didn’t happen in the past resulting in large blackouts.

    We could still have a major failure from an impulse bomb or large solar storm. These two things can cause a catastrophe because they can lead to the destruction of big substation transformers over a large area, the re-manufacture and replacement of which will take at least 1/2 yr. Such a bomb is not likely to take out the all of the US electric service but even a possible 1/3 would be a really bad situation. A solar storm could take out the whole country. Our only current defense against these threats as I understand it is to unload the grids PRIOR to the magnetic event. We can do that for a storm but a bomb can arrive so fast I think we’d be exposed. Our substations can be hardened against both threats in the same way but congress has been really slow to appreciate these invisible threats.

    Regarding power grid hacking, its more difficult than people appreciate. Power grid control is “air gapped” to prevent hacking. That means there is no intentional direct contact with the power grid by the internet. It doesn’t mean someone somewhere hasn’t found a way to interconnect across the gap but it is an enforced safeguard. Can one theoretically get around an air gap? Yes. It has happened The US did it with Iran using a USB thumb drive to traverse the air gap by putting a hack in a vendor update that then got installed. Difficult but possible. Also its possible to detect this in advance with a checksums. Iran just didn’t. …. Now they do. 🙂 Then if the air gap is traversed to install the hack you have to be able to “command the hack to activate” across the gap in the above scenario. The Iran hack ran autonomously. The above scenario would need an external connection.

    Has someone figured out how to get around the air gap hurdles? You never know for sure until war starts. Not a good time to find out.

  5. The Russians are a paper tiger and always have been. They could no doubt do some damage, but nothing this country couldn’t overcome.

  6. Any deliberate and first attack on U.S. assets should be met with the Israeli mentality — disproportional response!

  7. The Russians have been hacking our electrical grid for years. This was the US shooting over the Russians bow to send the message that they might want to re-think any ideas they may have of shutting down our power grid.

  8. The Russians know they are guilty of crimes against the United State. they paid the Clinton foundation to steal our uranium and they have spied on us ever since Obama became President. They have spied on Americans and stole our Countries secrets including our military’s . I say bring it on. I’m a little on the older side now and a little disabled because of that but I’m ready to polish my old jump boots and begin the fray

  9. Fake concept….fake news.
    This sort of “stuff” is scanned for routinely by all countries of importance.

    What I find interesting is the instant hysteria a story such as this causes time and again. Pffffft!

  10. ” Russia needs to know, at least while we have a President with a bone spurs….”>

    There, I fixed it for ya………

  11. Edward Snowden said the US was planting similar code in the power grids of ALLIES long before it was made ‘legal’.

  12. Sounds like an act of war to me. Attempting to interfere in an election is one thing, preparing to sabotage the power delivery of a nation is on a different level altogether.
    I imagine the Russians will develop a dead man’s switch, if the power goes down throughout Russia the ICBMs launch automatically.

  13. As I understand it, the entire US power grid is 3 massive interconnected sections, so that adjoining grids sort of support each other along the district fringes. Therefore, each grid is dependent on the other for stability. So, like in the northeast US a few years ago, a cascading failure left us in the dark for several days, wherein society promptly went to hell. If for instance thru an air burst (in space above the USA) nuke would take out the ENTIRE US power network, which would take decades to rebuild. If they played this same software game and pulled our plug first, say in half a dozen key points of the east coast grid, would it take down the Texas grid or the west coast grid with it?

  14. Yea, we will not tolerate interference in OUR elections. Never mind the fact that the US has a long and documented history of interfering with elections in other countries, as well as overthrowing and assassinating elected officials in other countries.

  15. How is it legal for us to create a law that allows us to attack our adversaries unprovoked.
    This is BS. We are about “protect and defend” and not insight and provoke.
    This is certainly “fake news,” and the concern of treaties, not laws that give us first strike capabilities.
    This garbage is typical of CNN and MSNBC hogwash and is the first time that PC Pitstop has failed to protect its consumers from malicious-ware.

  16. How silly to do something like this and then announce it publicly. Sounds like a PR stunt to make the gullible public feel good, and certain actors to secure funding for their pet projects. What we need to do is negotiate treaties for non interference in each other’s domestic affairs, using cyber tools or whatever. Fat chance. Eventually, however, when we are on the ropes, we will rediscover the wisdom of a long ago Secretary of State, John Q Adams, who said of our young country’s foreign policy, “she goeth not abroad in search of monsters to destroy”.

  17. That report and much of the replies content above is what we call around here, “Bull Shit.” No credible “source” leaked that to anyone (operative word is credible).

  18. You are creating your own enemies, then you point your finger at them saying: “See? I told you he’s our enemy”!

  19. Well man, you also understood that, but their important strategy is to undermine Russia by all means possible, not clean the trash in their garden first!

  20. Don’t pretend to be retarded as no one played with your elections, except reality! The truth is that Trump has actually made it to win! What is it so hard to accept the truth? Do you think that everything should happen as you plan? That the sun will eventually rise from the west just because you plan so? Do you plan when an accident should take place? No! For instance and for the truly blind people like you, Trump hasn’t done anything friendly with Russia for all these years! What does that say to you? That Putin put Trump there? Even the most stupid monkey would laugh at you hearing that! You Amuricans wish to even control God if you want to! You are so arrogant as you believe that even your shit smells like a perfume compared to other people! You…, who have stolen a great land from the American Indians who are the only true Americans! You are nonsense and completely immoral and if something goes against your “free will”, you start throwing stones and blaming everyone that you may consider to blame! These miseries won’t go like this forever!

  21. Offensive maneuvers by the US are nothing new. Given the intellectual property theft that we have tolerated for the last 3 decades we had better wise up.

  22. We can’t just sit here and be a big juicy target. Russia needs to know, at least while we have a President with a spine, that we have teeth too, and are willing to play their game on their level.

  23. Greg, you hit the nail on the head! If we don’t stay a step ahead of Russia and China, we are not doing our job. If, more likely when, they strike us, we had better be able to cripple them. They will try coming from both sides. I’m stocking up on the ammo, and looking into my liberty garden.

  24. The United States should have done this sooner, given the Russians had this capability for cyber warfare for many years. But that’s now water under the bridge. Their strike at the Russians should at least tell them the US Cyber Command is as adept as the Russians are. I hope the next Cold War would not be a Cyber War, although we might see it unfolding now.

  25. I’m sorry but why would anyone want to pass on this type information if it is obvious that it needs to be suppressed if it is to be of any benefit to us. They now know it’s there and will concentrate on finding and deactivating it before it can even be used.

    Talk about STUPID!!!

  26. We know they have interfered with our elections. How do you get preemptive out of that?
    Yes, an “eye for an eye” creates a lot of blind people.
    Whether this is bogus or not, we need to let the Ruskies know hat we will not tolerate interference in elections.

    • these cyber command people must think they are real bad asses! It would be better if they were creating programs to prevent the huge damage caused by hackers within the US, or better yet, a program that would stop all robo calls..

  27. A cyber command attack would have been focused; say shut off the power to a military installation and damage their electrical grid in such a fashion that it would take months to repair. The problem is that most electrical grids around the world use the security by obscurity method. Anyone with a modicum of technical expertise can dial into the system and crash it. Did the U.S. attack the Russian power grid? I rather doubt it.

  28. It’s time that everyone in the USA develop a catchment system, and a steam distillation and electric generation system running from as many power sources as possible like wind, solar, hydro, wood, coal, etc. The big picture is we live in a world with many threats to our way of life by foreign state actors. We should all get back to growing as much of everything as possible in Liberty Gardens. Everyone needs enough food, water, ammunition, and electricity for several years, as well as medical supplies and herbs. Start small and work into it as if your life depended on it. Things can change with the flip of a switch/EMP. Most dry goods like rice and beans can be stored vacuum sealed for decades. I like being free and permitted to agree with other Americans, or even disagree, within a framework of civil discourse. I love praising Jesus Christ! I especially love being in a free country where I can disagree with other faiths, and still lookout for their kids and them for mine, and share baseball and barbeques together. Freedom isn’t free, but it’s worth the cost of maintaining our civil democracy.

  29. If true that the U.S. has inserted a malicious code in Russian Power grid, then I say GOOD! Best to be prepared. If this is fake news, then the Russians won’t know if its true or not, and may think twice before attempting to mess with our grids.

  30. Losing power for any length of time is extremely inconvenient and can be dangerous for those with serious health issues that depend on electric power to operate medical devices. However, 90%??? We went through 10 days without power after hurricane Sandy and I don’t recall one reported death in my area. If you are that worried, purchase a backup generator

  31. Let me see if I understand what’s going on here. We, the U.S., put malicious code in the Russian power grid and we’re telling them. So I guess our cyber warriors don’t think Russian cyber warriors are smart enough to identify and remove it? Really?

  32. We have no business attacking Russia, or anyone else. We should be focused on beefing up our own security measures rather than provoking others into a war we can’t win at this time due to the military/military insulation, and other security cutbacks done by Obama, Clinton, and the Bushes. Provoking Russia is the most asinine move the US has done in years. Are we trying to start another world war?

  33. I heard if USA power grid was attacked and took out our power grid in one year 90% of Americans would die. So I’d rather hear that our Government is doing something about this now, rather then later.

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