Foreign Operatives Are Scanning Critical US Infrastructure

Foreign Operatives Are Scanning Critical US Infrastructure

( – It’s become increasingly crucial for the government to set up a line of defense against cyber threats within the framework of the technological boom of the last few decades. The cyberattacks in 2021 against large companies such as Colonial Pipeline, Acer, and JBS foods exposed serious breaches against sectors the government can’t afford to risk. In fact, the Biden Administration recently warned of the possibility of Russian actors carrying out cyber threats, especially in the wake of sanctions levied against the country, and one federal agency released a bulletin noting several concerning incidents.

On March 18, the FBI released a notice calling attention to what it views as suspicious activity affecting US energy companies. The agency noticed “abnormal scanning” of websites, mainly in the energy sector, that it traced back to approximately 140 Russian IP addresses. According to CBS’ review of the bulletin, the FBI believes it to be “early stages of reconnaissance,” where Russians are looking for “vulnerabilities for use in potential future intrusions” on critical infrastructure.

The FBI further revealed the intrusions began in March 2021, just two months after Biden took office. Still, they’ve increased since this February, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the attacks on American companies last year are cause for concern, they involved ransomware, wherein the hacker demands money to release captured data or systems. This time, the FBI fears there’s more at stake with US infrastructure in the crosshairs of bad actors.

The FBI has not commented on the intelligence, as is standard procedure, but the Department of Energy spoke with CBS and said it’s working to strengthen cybersecurity within the energy sector.

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