FILE - In this June 27, 2016, file photo, power lines tower over a coal ash pond from an abandoned coal fired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia.
FILE - In this June 27, 2016, file photo, power lines tower over a coal ash pond from an abandoned coal fired power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia.

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyberattacks targeting the U.S. energy grid.

An alert published by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI said a "multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors" had targeted the networks of small commercial facilities "where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks."

The alert coincided with the U.S. Treasury Department announcing it had slapped sanctions on 19 Russian individuals and five groups, including Moscow's intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other malicious cyberattacks.