Imagine if your natural gas and electricity went out in the middle of recent subzero temperatures? Imagine the whole region lost access to heat? This is the current threat of Russian cyberattacks.
In their recent annual report to Congress, our intelligence agencies revealed Russia has hacked into U.S. utility control rooms and have the ability to stage such attacks. They could cripple our utilities from hours to weeks in a way that gives Russia plausible deniability.
We need to consider how we are responding to these cyberattacks. The primary response was for the FBI, then the Special Counsel, to investigate the methodology and tradecraft of Russian cyberattacks on our country. The more details we learn about these attacks, the better we can defend our country in this 21st century version of warfare.
National foreign relations with Russia may seem irrelevant to our lives in Eastern Iowa, but experiencing a systemic utility failure in the middle of a deep freeze is a real threat to our community. We must continue to pressure our senators to allow the Special Counsel to complete its investigation on Russia.