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Hackers have targeted and successfully penetrated the operational networks of a number of energy companies in the United States and Europe, putting core aspects of power grids at risk, security researchers warn.

Security firm Symantec reported the intrusions, which the researchers attributed to a state-sponsored hacked group known as Dragonfly. The hacking collective has been targeting energy companies since at least 2011 and has made strides in the type of access the group has been able to achieve in the last year.