SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new report from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation says Russian government hackers infiltrated computer systems of critical facilities within the United States.
“If they compromise the entire structure, the software itself, then they would have full access to anything they wanted,” said Ryan Eldridge, a network security expert with Nerds on Call.
“They’re showing they have the capability of doing these things,” said Eldridge.
He says Russian hackers have been trying to get into our water, electricity, and nuclear plant computer systems for years, but until now have only been mapping or stealing secrets.
“All they’ve got to do is find one flaw in one of the codes, and they can go out and get it,” said Eldridge.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Russian government hackers were able to get deep into the system of a Kansas nuclear plant and able to reconstruct what appears to be a control panel. No disruptions were carried out by the hackers.
“If there is sensitive corporate information that is accessible to the great wide web, you absolutely are going to be able to get to it just with enough time and energy,” said Eldridge.
Local power companies released statements on Friday:
“We employ a dedicated team to manage cyber-risk. They are continuously monitoring for threats and responding appropriately in real time,” wrote a PG&E spokesperson in a statement.
SMUD issued a statement today saying, “Our team of highly specialized security and industry experts is constantly monitoring national security intelligence for new threats and keeping a close eye on our systems. We have not experienced any major cyber incidents.”
Eldridge says the threat is always there.
“There is no 100 percent fool-proof way to stay secure, unfortunately,” said Eldridge.