FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, the sun rises beyond power lines in St. Charles Parish, La. Homeland Security officials say that Russian hackers used conventional tools to trick victims into entering passwords in order to build out a sophisticated effort to gain access to control rooms of utilities in the U.S. The victims included hundreds of vendors that had links to nuclear plants and the electrical grid. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Russian hackers tricked people into giving their passwords

July 25, 2018 - 9:13 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The simplest way to hack into secure systems is to trick people into revealing their passwords, and U.S. officials say Russian hackers did just that last year to gain access to hundreds of U.S. utilities, manufacturing plants and other facilities.

The head of the Department of Homeland Security's industrial control system analysis, Jonathan Homer, says Russians targeted mostly the energy sector but also nuclear, aviation and critical manufacturing.

Officials say the hackers could have caused mass blackouts but appeared more focused on reconnaissance.

The newly disclosed details of the 2017 hack come amid growing concerns over Russia's efforts to interfere in the November midterm elections.

A dozen Russian military intelligence officers have been indicted on charges of infiltrating Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.

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