The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of orchestrating a campaign of cyberattacks that targeted the U.S. power grid.
Since at least March 2016, Russian hackers attempted to infiltrate numerous sectors of American infrastructure, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to a Department of Homeland Security report published on Thursday.
The announcement came as the White House imposed sanctions against 19 Russians and five entities for allegedly interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other cyberattacks.
Even though they never went that far, Russian actors gained the ability to disrupt or completely shut down power plants and other critical infrastructure in the U.S., says Robert Lee, CEO of the cybersecurity company Dragos.
"The American power grid and the infrastructure owners and operators have been aware of it and are addressing it for the last year or so, but it's obviously increasing in frequency ... to the point that the government has decided to come out and say something publicly about it," he tells Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd.