On March 24, the US State Department released information about the search for four Russian citizens accused of organizing cyber attacks on the global energy sector in the period from 2012 to 2018.
The Ministry of Justice claims that hackers operated in the period from 2012 to 2018 and carried out many attacks during this time, targeting thousands of computer systems in 135 countries around the world. A senior law enforcement official said that there is currently a high probability of attacks on critical infrastructure facilities. This statement was made shortly after American President Biden said that Russia, in response to sanctions, could allegedly conduct a series of cyber attacks against the United States.
“Russian hackers pose a serious and ongoing threat to critical infrastructure both in the United States and around the world. Although the charges filed today reflect past activities, they emphasize that American businesses need to strengthen their defenses and remain vigilant,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.
The US Justice Department claims that Russian Evgeny Gladkikh caused damage to “critical infrastructure outside the United States,” which caused emergency shutdowns at a foreign target facility.
Three more defendants – Pavel Akulov, Mikhail Gavrilov, Marat Tyukov – were preparing to hack “the computers of hundreds of organizations associated with the energy sector around the world,” the agency claims.
Among the victims of cyberattacks who assisted in the investigation, the US Department of Justice named the French Schneider Electric, as well as the American companies Wolf Creek, Evergy Inc and Kansas Electric Power Cooperative Inc.