A cyber attack is a cyber operation, whether offensive or defensive, that is reasonably expected to cause injury or death to persons or damage or destruction to objects.

Michael Schmitt et al; Tallinn Manual 1.0, pp 92
  • Cyber Operation?
  • Expected to cause death or injury to people or damage to objects?
Russian Operations to “Prepare the Battlefield” for Potential Future Operations Against the US Power Grid, If Necessary does not match this definition. Here's a list of actual cyberattacks and and why this matters.

What happened?

U.S. grid regulator NERC issued a warning that a major hacking group with suspected Russian ties was conducting reconnaissance into the networks of electrical utilities.