Network Security, Vulnerability Management

Russian hackers blamed for power outages in Western Ukraine

Power outages on Christmas Eve in Western Ukraine have been blamed on Russian special services hackers.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that malware was discovered in utility networks that corresponded with a “telephone flood” at tech support departments of utility plants. The SBU apparently hindered another attempt by the Russian hackers to access electric utility company computer networks.

It is believed that there has not yet been a cyber-attack to successfully take out an electricity grid. Animals, such as squirrels, pose more of a threat.

Two explanations suggest that either Russian state-sponsored hackers are running electronic attacks against civilian electricity distribution systems or Ukrainian admins are blaming hackers for the outages caused by lack of equipment upkeep and nature (animals, weather).

Ukrainian nationalists had earlier been blamed for sabotaging pylons supplying electricity to Russian-controlled Crimea, resulting in power shortages on the peninsula.

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