Critical Infrastructure Security, Threat Management

Details on domestic cyber terrorism risk against US energy infrastructure sought

The Department of Homeland Security and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are being asked by House Homeland Security Committee ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Reps. Seth Magaziner, D-R.I., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., to provide a briefing on potential cyberattacks that domestic terrorists could deploy against U.S. energy infrastructure, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. "As racially- or ethnically- motivated violent extremists embrace the use of grid disruptions for ideological means, we cannot assume they will not seek to exploit cyber vulnerabilities particularly where the malware and tactics used to carry such an exploit are known," said the lawmakers in a letter sent to DHS Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis Kenneth Wainstein and CISA Director Jen Easterly. Such a demand for a briefing arose from the various foreign threats targeted at the U.S. energy infrastructure, including the PIPEDREAM malware reported by Dragos last week. Both DHS and CISA have also been noted by the lawmakers to have the proper resources that would help defend against domestic cyber terrorism. "Given the alarming rise of domestic violent extremism and in attacks against critical infrastructure generally, and the energy sector in particular, [Homeland Security] and CISA have essential roles in ensuring [local governments] are informed and prepared to prevent attacks against electrical facilities," the lawmakers added.

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