Power firms alerted over cyber safety with Ukraine’s electricity grid

Power firms globally are being notified on how to notice if hackers who closed down parts of Ukraine’s electricity grid are targeting them.

The code and text that was used to shut down key parts of Ukrainian’s grid left 23,000 people without power for hours.

The implanted malware has been studied, which has led to power firms being warned about possible vulnerabilities.

Information power firms have been helping power firms scan internal systems for signs of intrusion, with the aim to prevent problems through being spotted quickly.

‘Power firms neglect security’

The security help started after cyber security companies, Black Hat and Def Con, recently revealed the ways power firms neglect security at a security conference, showing other ways the malware seen in Ukraine’s attack could be deployed.

Dragos’s security worker, Robert M Lee, said to the BBC: “Power grid operators need to be aware that these styles of events are out there and they need to prepare for them.

“All of the functionality exhibited in the malware was not seen in the Ukraine attack. No senior policy makers in any government has come out and condemned the Ukraine attack, which has done nothing but embolden the attackers and that’s a worrying trend.”

Lee also criticised governments for not doing enough to raise awareness about the seriousness of the events in Ukraine.

Written by Leah Alger