NSA chief worries about cyber attack on U.S. infrastructure

National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers fears similar attacks like the power failure in Ukraine

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U.S. National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers warned Tuesday that hackers will try to mount a cyber attack against U.S. infrastructure, similar to the power failure in western Ukraine last year.

“It’s only a matter of the when, not the if, you are going to see a nation state, a group or an actor engage in destructive behavior against critical infrastructure of the United States,” Rogers told a cybersecurity conference in San Francisco.

Rogers also heads the U.S. military’s Cyber Command, which is engaged in targeting enemy networks and social media sites.

On December 23, parts of western Ukraine were plunged into darkness after a computer virus affected the networks of several regional electricity companies.

“An actor penetrated the Ukrainian power grid and brought large segments of it offline in a very well-crafted attack that both focused on knocking the system down but also focused on how was the provider likely to respond to that outage,” Rogers said.

“Seven weeks ago it was Ukraine. That isn’t the last we are going to see of this, and that worries me,” he added.

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