A new type of Russian malware could have a disastrous impact on the US power grid. The malware, called BlackEnergy, is believed to be created by Russian hackers. What’s more disturbing, however, are allegations that BlackEnergy’s creators may have ties to the Russian government itself.
According to ABC News, the Department of Homeland Security believes that BlackEnergy could have a serious impact on the lives of everyday Americans. ABC News notes that BlackEnergy could damage or disable many types of utilities and power services in the US:
“The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
News about BlackEnergy comes hot on the heels of reports that the White House was the subject of a cyberattack from Russian hackers last month. You can learn more about that attack in the video above.
Computerworld reports that the group behind BlackEnergy has also been linked to “high-level government organizations, municipal offices, federal emergency services, national standards bodies, banks, academic research institutions, property holdings and other organizations” in 20 different countries.
TheHill adds that BlackEnergy may have first infected American systems in 2011. TheHill, citing unnamed sources that previously spoke with ABC, states that the Russian government may be linked to the attacks.