FBI Warns Of Russian Hackers' Interest In US Infrastructure

US companies from the financial and energy sectors are said to have been scanned for vulnerabilities by hackers. Such activities can be precursors of a cyber attack.

The US Federal Police FBI sees a growing interest of Russian hackers in US energy companies since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Hackers from Russia have scanned at least five energy companies and at least 18 other companies in sectors such as defense industry and financial services for vulnerabilities, the AP news agency reported, citing an FBI report. The broadcaster CNN and the news portal Politico also reported on it.

According to AP, the companies concerned are not identified in the document. Accordingly, the FBI issued a warning last week because of the growing interest. However, scanning a network for errors or vulnerabilities is not uncommon and does not necessarily mean a cyberattack is imminent. However, such activity can be a precursor to an attack.

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According to AP, the report contains 140 IP addresses. These have been associated with scanning critical US infrastructure since at least March 2021. The activities had increased with the beginning of the Ukraine war, it said. The IP addresses are associated with cyber actors who have developed "destructive cyber activities against foreign critical infrastructure" in the past.

Earlier this week, the White House said intelligence information indicated Russia was considering cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in the US. White House Assistant Cybersecurity Advisor Anne Neuberger expressed anger at a news conference that some critical infrastructure facilities are failing to fix known software bugs that could be exploited by Russian hackers.

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