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NSA Chief Says ‘When, Not If’ Foreign Country Hacks U.S. Infrastructure

Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency, gestures while speaking on October 19, 2015 in Laguna Beach, California at the opening of the 2015 WSJD Live.Photograph by Frederic J. Brown—AFP via Getty Images

(Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency chief said on Tuesday it was a “matter of when, not if” a foreign nation-state attempts to launch a cyber attack on the U.S. critical infrastructure, citing the recent hack on Ukraine’s power grid as a cause for concern.

Speaking at the RSA cyber security conference in San Francisco, Admiral Michael Rogers said he was also worried about data manipulation and potential offensive cyber threats posed by non-nation-state actors such as Islamic State.

The U.S. government said last week a December blackout in Ukraine that affected 225,000 customers was the result of a cyber attack, supporting what most security researchers had already concluded.

Some private researchers have linked the incident to a Russian hacking group known as “Sandworm.”