As tensions between Britain and Russia mount, the UK braces for cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, especially on its power and water supplies. Police in Wiltshire, where the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal took place, deny reports that their networks came under Russian attack. Expect more false alarms during this period of heightened tension.
The US power industry is similarly preparing itself for attack. The Department of Homeland Security has warned that Russian operators successfully intruded into electrical grid industrial control systems, albeit without working damage in this first stage of their campaign. Unofficial warnings go back to last autumn at least, when Symantec produced research on the activities of Energetic Bear. Some of the operations are thought to go back to 2015.
Social media continue to struggle through their rough patch. Political research firm Cambridge Analytica, which counted the Trump campaign among its clients, is found to have obtained personal information from Facebook on some fifty million individuals during the last US election cycle. Bot-driven fake Twitter accounts may have been used against the Sanders presidential campaign by Democratic operators aligned with Clinton. YouTube is accused of stoking conspiracy theories. And Facebook suffered a brief period where its search autocomplete function inexplicably defaulted to highly specialized adult queries. Congress is barking about new regulation, especially over the Cambridge Analytica affair.
Russia's Central Election Commission says it sustained DDoS attacks over the weekend "from fifteen countries." The attacks didn't affect the outcome of the presidential election. (Nor, perhaps, did the voting.)