Friday, December 23, 2016

Hackers Suspected of Causing Second Power Outage in Ukraine

As we face the new year expect more of this type of cyber attacks. The power stations and to a great extent all of the power grid are partially controlled by various SCADA systems, and has always been an attractive target for cybercrooks, given the success of Stuxnet malware that was developed by the US and Israeli together to sabotage the Iranian nuclear facilities a few years ago, and "Havex" that previously targeted organizations in the energy sector. We know China has built power stations modeled after some of ours, and that they practice attacks on the constantly. They have also built water filtration systems modeled after some of ours to practice on as well. Add to this one insider that can insert malicious code into our power, or water, or hospital systems and you have a great chance of bringing those systems down. In a power grid if the attacker picks the right power stations and or switching systems to attack, then they can bring down huge sections of our power grid. I think the worst so far was a five state grid drop. In the Ukraine with tensions as high as they are between them and Russia, can you imagine the havoc Russia could cause just before or during and invasion of Ukraine. Of course it is not just Russia contemplating how to use Cyber attacks to increase the chances of a military conventional attack. Every major power is heavily invested in these type of attack planning. Yes including the USA, but for all you conspiracy types out there, the USA has had ways to non nuclear destroy our enemy and has not done so,, we are the good guys. But back to the insider or the Snowden type traitor, this is in many cases the tipping point. You get up to the point of almost being ready for an attack, but you need that next step, that is when the insider makes it all work. I am sorry but really the only way to stop the insider is for each of us to recognize the changes in our fellow workers, or just people we see in our daily lives. We always seem to recognize the clues after an attack, we just need to understand what the clues are before the attack.
from CTI Consulting

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