The U.S. Justice Department announced charges in a yearslong hacking campaign aimed at thousands of computers in the U.S. and abroad to gain access to energy facilities, reports the Wall Street Journal. The defendants all worked for the Russian government and are charged for targeting 135 countries between 2012 and 2018. One of the charges, levied at Evgeny Gladkikh, includes the targeting of a foreign refinery with a piece of malware called "Triton", which deactivates automatic safety shutdowns.
The Biden administration says that an increase in cyber attacks may be a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. They say they believe the attacks could be retaliation for economic sanctions against Russia and warned U.S. businesses. “Russian state-sponsored hackers pose a serious and persistent threat to critical infrastructure both in the United States and around the world,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “Although the criminal charges unsealed today reflect past activity, they make crystal clear the urgent ongoing need for American businesses to harden their defenses and remain vigilant.”