The U.S. government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday.
U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure.
Officials are unable to describe the full scope of the problem, however, because they have had limited ability to pull together all the private data.
Perfect Citizen will look at large, typically older computer control systems that were often designed without Internet connectivity or security in mind.
Many of those systems — which run everything from subway systems to air-traffic control networks — have since been linked to the Internet, making them more efficient but also exposing them to cyber attack.