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>> Inside the Trump administration's newly unveiled sanctions against Russia is a startling accusation that Moscow engineered a multipronged cyber attack campaign to target America's power grid. Reuters Cyber Security correspondent, Dustin Bults explains.>> This is the first time that we've seen the Russian government blamed for a cyber attack campaign that specifically was targeting assets in the United States this way.
One of the most concerning things to researchers is that there are nuclear power facilities that were part of the target and other critical infrastructure including aviation, water supply, and critical manufacturing. They did announce it alongside a package of sanctions against Russians and Russian entities for the election meddling and for some other cyber attacks.
But there are those who think that Russia really isn't going to be deterred here at all.>> Russia, which is also accused of targeting nuclear power plants, water, and electric systems in Europe, said on Thursday it would retaliate against the new US sanctions.>> The political significance of the Trump administration formally blaming Russia for this cannot be ignored.
One of the concerns about naming and shaming a foreign government when it comes to cyber attacks is, how are they going to respond? Is this going to lead to an escalation?>> It's not clear how far Russian hackers got into US systems. And a former senior homeland security official familiar with the matter declined to say whether the campaign was still ongoing.
>> Most experts think that the US grid is not susceptible to some sort of wide-scale blackout, that there are safety checks in place. But even the small chance of something devastating happening by Russia or others is really concerning. Symantec said in its recent research last fall, they believe that these hackers actually did get to the control systems and were really just a few keystrokes away from potentially shutting down power facilities.
>> It's not the first time Russia has been accused of malicious cyber attacks. In 2015 and 2016, Ukraine's energy grid suffered temporary blackouts that impacted hundreds of thousands of customers. And in 2017 a global ransomware attack cost billions of dollars in damages.