The United States government promised retaliation against Russia for hacking into the e-mails of Democratic Party officials in an apparent bid to influence the presidential election. And according to one US military figure they have followed through with that threat, in a very big way.
According to an unnamed senior intelligence official with the US government, the Obama administration has penetrated Russia’s electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin’s command systems.
The purported hack means that critical parts of Russia’s infrastructure are now vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the White House deem it necessary, reports NBC News which claims to have seen top secret documents describing the infiltration.
The hack could potentially allow the US to shut off the lights, or bring down the internet, across Russia.
In the past the US government has claimed state actors such as Russia and China have left hidden malware in the systems of critical infrastructure in the US in an effort to allow them to potentially carry out a future cyber-attack.
If true, it is certain that the US would be doing the same.
In fact, it was the US government that gave the Internet one of its most destructive viruses when it used a malicious virus known as Stuxnet to disrupt a uranium enrichment plant in Iran back in 2010.
The Stuxnet virus was a computer worm that targeted industrial control systems used to monitor and control large scale industrial facilities like power plants, dams, waste processing systems and similar operations.
It’s release effectively ushered in the high stakes game of state-sponsored cyber warfare.