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Attackers Keep Targeting the U.S. Electric Grid

By Wired

December 12, 2022

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We at WIRED have written plenty about the threat that cyberattacks pose to power grids worldwide. But lately, the most significant attacks on electrical systems have demonstrated that hacking is hardly necessary when physical destruction and sabotage are an option: Just as Russia's invasion force in Ukraine has systematically destroyed electrical infrastructure to cause vast blackouts across the country, a mysterious and continuing series of physical attacks have hit power utilities in the American southeast—and in one case, have caused an extended outage for tens of thousands of people.

We'll get to that. In the meantime, though, the cyber news we've reported on hasn't exactly let up this week: Apple added end-to-end encryption for its iCloud backups, while also officially nixing its plan to hunt for child sexual abuse materials in iCloud and reopening a long-running rift with the FBI. Payroll and HR services provider Sequoia admitted to a data breach that included users' Social Security numbers. A study of cybercrime forums revealed a trend of scammers scamming scammers. And we looked at how the Twitter Files will fuel conspiracy theorists, how technology is contributing to UK authorities creating a "hostile environment" for immigrants, and security and privacy concerns around the Lensa AI portrait app.

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