Going Hot? Russia ‘Prepped the Battlefield’ in US Long Ago, Officials Say
U.S. should prepare for shocks like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, ex-CIA official warns
The lights were blinking off.
As raucous pro- and anti-Trump crowds flooded into Washington for the presidential inauguration in Jan. 2017 , the D.C. police department’s citywide surveillance cameras stopped recording. Within seconds, 123 of its 178 surveillance cameras, including those monitoring the streets around the White House and the headquarters of multiple federal agencies, had been “accessed and compromised.”
The intelligence gap lasted for three days, from Jan. 12 to Jan. 15. Coming on the heels of Russia’s covert intrusions into the 2016 campaign, officials at first feared Vladimir Putin—or other bad actors, from China, Iran or North Korea—had dramatically upped their game to create more chaos in American society and its politics.
As it would turn out, it was none of them. A couple of lowlife Romanian hackers had stumbled into the system and used it in a ransomware demand for a paltry $60,800 in bitcoin in exchange for releasing control of the system. The suspects were tracke…