Since 2012, the United States has been depositing probes in the control systems for Russia’s electric power grid.
What We Know:
- The United States has been engaged in a digital Cold War with Russia. The US Cyber Command, a division under the Pentagon, has been deploying American computer codes inside of Russia’s electric power grid.
- The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have both gone public about the possibility of Russia sabotaging the US with malware. They have warned that this could affect American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies. The US was initially on the defensive but now they have taken a more offensive stance.
- On June 11th, John R. Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser, made a public appearance to speak on their new tactics. He advised that the US is taking a deeper look into the potential digital targets as part of an effort “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyber operations against us, ‘you will pay a price'”.
- Though they have been consistently inserting codes into Russia’s grid, there is no way to know how deep the US is in the grid until the code is activated. Activating will then tell the US if it is enough to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military.
The Trump administration has declined to give any further specifics or details on the code or their strategy at this time.