The Baffler had a good article on the history of panic over Russian hacker attacks, from the Russia-Georgia conflict of 2008, when somebody took down the home page of the President of Georgia, to the leaking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign e-mails.
The writer, Yasha Levine, pointed out that the seriousness of the attacks is almost always exaggerated and attribution to Russian intelligence is always unproved.
Most of the allegations come from cyber-security firms, which have a business interest in promoting fear of Russian cyber-warfare.
Most journalists accept these claims, because they (I should say “we”) don’t have the expertise to question them. Levine is an exception.
Cyber-warfare is a potential threat to U.S. energy, financial and other infrastructure. Somebody might someday do to us Americans what was done to Iran with the Stuxnet virus. But none of the current allegations are anywhere close to this. We won’t make ourselves safer by losing our heads.
From Russia, With Panic: Cozy bears, unsourced hacks—and a Silicon Valley shakedown by Yasha Levine for The Baffler. It’s a bit long, but well worth reading in its entirety.