back to article We're Putin our foot down! DHS, FBI blame Russia for ongoing infrastructure hacks

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday issued an alert warning of ongoing cyber-attacks against the West's energy utilities and other critical infrastructure by individuals acting on behalf of the Russian government. The security warning coincides with the US Treasury …

  1. fobobob

    JFC

    Disconnect this stuff from the greater internet... leased-lines are still a thing.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: JFC

      Is the correct answer.

      Not enough upvotes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russia hacking us?

    Can't be. Why just today the White House said they're still waiting to see "... whether or not [the Russians] want to be a good actor or a bad actor." Apparently everything they've done for the last two-plus years is not up for consideration. Wipe the slate clean and let's see what happens tomorrow, when we'll wipe the slate clean again. Rinse and repeat.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, perhaps the White House could stop trying to call it an aardvark.

    And no, I don't claim that we're not guilty of similar transgressions. I'm just as appalled by them as every other decent person is. And I can't change the past. Regardless, two wrongs don't make a right and the fact that we did it to others does not excuse the Russians doing it to us.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Russia hacking us?

      And no, I don't claim that we're not guilty of similar transgressions.

      With a longer track record too:

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1455559/CIA-plot-led-to-huge-blast-in-Siberian-gas-pipeline.html

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet

      The track record actual track of damage and dead bodies too - something which should qualify as an act of war.

      I know I sound like a broken record here, we should do what they have done and not piecemeal. Anything and everything that is classified as critical infrastructure - the C-suite must be criminally responsible if it is not secured. This is what their (2 year old now) critical infra bill does (*). Connecting SCADA which controls water purification or grid to the net in a way which allows lateral penetration after breaking into an office machine is criminal.

      (*)It is usually referred to in various disconnect country from the net discussions. That part of it which is specified as a last resort for dealing with large cyber attacks is the least interesting bit. There is a lot to learn from there. The tech people who advised on it knew what they were doing.

      1. mutin

        Re: Russia hacking us?

        Wrong. Stuxnet is not about Russia at all. And the first link is speculation. The most important - Russian NEVER officially claimed that they found US actuvity on their infrustructure.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Russia hacking us?

          The most important - Russian NEVER officially claimed that they found US actuvity on their infrustructure.

          There is a reason for that - read their current doctrine. It is fairly specific on that too - it explicitly specifies that as an act of war to be responded to with all means available including military.

          If they claim it they have to substantiate it and attach an ICBM to it. That is why they will NOT claim it unless they are 100% sure and when they do we are all very royally screwed (as species).

          Unsubstantiated irresponsible claims are our specialty, they have their hands tied to do them at present (for better or for worse).

        2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

          Re: Russia hacking us?

          And the first link is speculation.

          Just like the 'fact' that the few tweets by an internet troll factory actually affected the US elections.

          The main force affecting the election in the US was the corporate controlled main stream media.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Russia hacking us?

      "... whether or not [the Russians] want to be a good actor or a bad actor."

      I don't think you will have to wait much. Trump has the cabling of AIPAC and the MIC/Deep State practically coming out of his braincase like in a cyberpunk movie. Liberal nation-liquefactors and neocons with a Russia problem are ready to go full in for the freedoms of Ukraine and Syria and a possible later rumble against China. The latest replacement at government top-levels indicate that we may be in a Hot War against the Bear sooner rather than later. At least Tillerson didn't look like being on ideological crack. It's a general problem too: better use these CVNs before they become completely obsolescent, eh?

    3. mutin

      Re: Russia hacking us?

      AFAIC Russians never claimed US attacks against their power infrastructure. I'm sure we have the tool for but it has not been used so far. See our MH research on www.rubos.com

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's worth protecting don't connect it to the internet !!

    DOH !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    French and Russian language used. This simplifies things because now they are looking for hacker whose mother is French and father is Russian. All I'll say is that it's a good thing you can't just learn a language or then we would have no idea who these people were and would just have to blame the current public enemy instead.

    1. DanceMan

      some text was in French

      French was once the language of the Russian Imperial court. So there may well still be some connection with French in Russia.

      1. Grikath

        Re: some text was in French

        And french was once the language of almost every court in Europe, and still is a mainstay in the diplomatic world.

        Your point?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. bigfeet555

    Don't worry, be happy!

    Don't worry. Trump's all over this. Right. Right. Right?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Don't worry, be happy!

      Well, it's Friday, so he's on his way to his golf club now.

      But he'll be right on it on Monday. Afternoon. After watching his toons all morning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't worry, be happy!

        > "But he'll be right on it on Monday."

        Everyone who has had extensive contact with Trump describes him as a workaholic. It's why he's making so much headway against so much extreme opposition, probably.

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: Don't worry, be happy!

      Barron ‘does the cyber’.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The security warning coincides with the US Treasury Department's announcement of sanctions against "Russian cyber actors" for interfering with the 2016 US election...

    So Obama holdovers at Treasury (using President Obama's executive order 13694) are sanctioning Russian bad actors (for attacking us, apparently) and the holdovers at the FBI chime in with lots more allegations against Russian "meddling."

    Why does this seem so much like Kabuki?

    1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Why does this seem so much like Kabuki?

      There's nothing wrong with Kabuki.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Stop blaming hackers

    It's your own damn fault for creating a bazillion unsecure / unsecurable systems which you don't really need and lack the resources to maintain.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Stop blaming hackers

      Agreed.

      And I do not understand the down vote.

  8. ecofeco Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why the hell is infrastruture even on the Internet?

    Seriously, who thought this was a good idea?

    Critical, national strategic resources on the WWW? WTF, people? WTF?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Putin's cyber-attacks against west's energy utilities

    "The US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday issued an alert warning of ongoing cyber-attacks against the West's energy utilities and other critical infrastructure"

    Would you mind providing the evidence and the logic behind the assertion that Putin's hackers are attacking 'the west's energy utilities'. And also why the Register is reduced to spouting this neocon waffle on a technology website.

    Dear America, stop connecting your SCADA systems directly to the Internet.

  10. MrReal Bronze badge

    Despite knowing the US has malware than can pretend to be written by any country it's comforting to know that the ziobots in the US are still attacking Russia.

    Just on the off chance that all their dreams come true at once and a nice big world war will allow them to get out of debt.

    Great. Good also to see May representing us by making our names stink in Russia - a country we may have wanted to visit previously - cancelling the football World Cup for us and trying to stop the Russian LNG that is keeping us warm this winter.

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      One presumes that they are not simply looking at text stings in the code & deciding where it came from based on that. At a minimum, they can intercept packets & see where they are headed. The next step is to penetrate the shell and see where that server is getting orders/sending information. And figure out if these communications are the real path, or if the "shell" is in fact the terminus.

      It took them a year and a half to reach this conclusion because they actually had to do work.

  11. Mahhn

    News vs Conferences

    All I see in the news about hacking is blame Russia, BUT, when I go to info sec conferences, review FBI reports - its 95% China, China, China. Gov agencies working to destabilize; infrastructure, governments, military. Nearly every hack blamed on NK was eventually traced back to China - but it didn't' make news on the follow up analysis.

    If nothing else China is doing a great job of keeping the US and Russia at each others throats. What else could be better for them?

  12. onebignerd

    Is this round of blaming Russia carrying the same lack of evidence as with the Kaspersky fearmongering?

    Sounds like alot of bullying from Washington trying to provoke Russia. I thought Trump and Putin were BFFs, why are we antagonizing them? Like the U.S is so innocent and pure!! *dry heave*

    If DHS is so concerned about security, maybe they should get their own systems secured. Their last audit was a big fail. Why do we need the so much infrastructure connected to the Internet?

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