Was Russia really behind the attack? Ukraine seems to think so.
The U.S. is getting involved in a controversial hack of Ukraine’s electrical grid.
American investigators are heading to Ukraine to determine what may have caused a recent blackout, CNN Money reports. Specifically, they want to determine whetherRussia was behind the attack, as Ukrainian officials allege.
On Dec. 23, hundreds of thousands of people in over 100 cities were hit with an electrical outage after computers owned by energy companies in that country were hit by malware. Since then, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Ukrainian government have determined that hackers gained access to networks and took the power grid offline.
Ukraine claims to have discovered traces of malware known to be used by Russian hackers. For its part, Russia has denied any involvement, and security researchers have cautioned that it’s possible for sophisticated hackers anywhere in the world to use the BlackEnergy malware employed in the attack to take down an electrical grid.
Still, the stakes are high. Cyber warfare is nothing new, but it’s largely been through state-sponsored hacks on government or corporate networks. Taking down a power grid ups the ante and illustrates the potential pitfalls facing governments, including the U.S., that compete in the global economy.