Russia currently appears more interested in hacking the U.S. electrical grid than interfering with our midterm elections.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Russian military intelligence has been hacking into the control rooms of power plants across the U.S. for the past year. So far, they appear to have stopped short of trying to take remote control of the plants like they did in Ukraine in 2015. But U.S. intelligence officials interviewed by The New York Times say that Homeland Security has "understated the scope of the threat."
President Trump was briefed Friday on U.S. cybersecurity efforts to protect the midterm election systems. Some believe Russian hackers may just be biding their time, waiting to attack election systems closer to election day.
Last week, Microsoft announced at a security conference that it stopped an attack on Congressional offices in late 2017. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says her office was one of the ones attacked unsuccessfully. She is on the Senate Armed Services Committee and one official says Russian hackers may have been trying to find a way into the classified military information that the Senate Committee has access to.
So far, the Russian hacks into the electrical grid involve installing malware in the utility operating systems. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Russians gained access to the grids by first hacking the networks of utility contractors who have poor cyber-security defenses.
The overall lack of alarm about Russian hacking is mind-boggling.
The overall lack of alarm about Russian hacking is mind-boggling. Washington occasionally gives it lip-service, but there is no concerted effort to confront Russia. The attitude almost seems to be, "Gee, this is really bad – someone should do something."
If this were happening in 1988 instead of 2018, there would probably already be missiles in the air. Why wasn't hacking the number one topic of conversation in Helsinki?
If Congress was half as concerned about Russian hacking as they are about "collusion," America would be way more prepared to safeguard our next two elections. Not to mention keeping the lights on.