Four federal agencies have warned that hacking groups have developed tools to attack technology used in factories, utilities, and other industrial settings, potentially allowing hackers to shut down parts of the U.S. energy grid and water services.
The April 13 alert from the FBI, the Department of Energy, and other agencies warns of advanced persistent threats, typically large cybercriminal groups and government-supported hackers, targeting three broad groups of industrial control system and supervisory control and data acquisition devices.
The targeted technologies are used in a wide range of settings, including the U.S. energy sector, the oil and gas industry, water and wastewater services, and manufacturing, transportation, and government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, noted Bill Moore, CEO and founder of Xona , an industrial controls security vendor.
“Chances are your life has been touched somehow by these systems unless you … live way off the grid,” added Andy Rogers, senior assessor at Schellman , a global cybersecurity assessor. “These systems control everything imaginable and to some degree make our lives a little more comfortable or safer on a daily basis.”
Moore called these threats “extremely concerning,” particularly during the current geopolitical tensions sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.