Ukraine says powerful Russian hack against power grid thwarted


BOSTON (AP) — Russian military hackers tried last week to cut power to millions of Ukrainians in a long-planned attack, but were unsuccessful, Ukrainian government officials said on Tuesday.

At a power plant, hackers managed to break into and disrupt part of the industrial control system, but the people defending the station were able to prevent power outages, the Ukrainians said.

“The threat was serious, but it was averted in time,” said a senior Ukrainian cybersecurity official. Victor Zhora, told reporters through a translator. “Looks like we were very lucky.”

hackers RussiaOfficials said the GRU military intelligence agency used an upgraded, more sophisticated version of the malware designed to target multiple substations, seen in its 2016 attempt to cut power in Kiev.

Authorities did not specify how many substations were targeted or their locations, citing safety concerns, but a deputy energy minister, Farid Safarov, said, “If it were successful, 2 million people would not have electricity supplies.”

ZhoraThe vice-president of the State Special Communications Special Service said the malware was programmed to disable electricity on Friday evening, when people got home from work and turned on the news.

HE IS he said the power grid networks were entered before the end of February. Russia invaded and the attackers then installed the malware named Industroyer2. The malware managed to corrupt a component of the affected power plant’s management system.

Zhora will not provide further details or explain how the attack was defeated or which partners may have directly assisted. HE IS acknowledged the depth of international aid Ukraine It was successful in identifying intrusions and the difficulties of trying to rid government, utility, and telecommunications networks from attackers.

Computer Emergency Response Team Ukraine He thanked Microsoft and cybersecurity firm ESET for their assistance in combating a power grid attack in a newsletter published online. ESET said in a blog post that devastating attacks are planned for at least two weeks.

GRU hackers successfully attacked twice UkraineIn 2020, US prosecutors accused six GRU officials of using a previous version of the Industroyer malware to attack. Ukraineelectrical grid by taking control of electrical substation switches and circuit breakers.

Russia‘The use of cyber-attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure was limited compared to the pre-war expectations of experts. However, in the early hours of the war, an attack Ukraine blame Russia It disabled an important satellite communications link from France to Poland, which also affected tens of thousands of Europeans.

In another serious cyberattack of the war, hackers disabled the internet and cellular service of Ukretelecom, a major telecommunications company that served the military for most of the day on March 28.

Zhora “The potential for Russian (state-sponsored) hackers has been overestimated,” he said, citing several reasons for this. he is believes that cyberattacks do not play a significant role in the conflict:

– There is little need to hide behind covert cyber activity when beating aggressive civilian targets with bombs and rockets.

Ukraine significantly increased its cyber defense with the help of volunteers from sympathetic countries.

– Attacks as sophisticated as this effort to destroy power are complex and time consuming.

“This is not an easy thing” Zhora I said.

Ukraine has been under a steady Russian cyberattack for the past eight years. Zhora Noting that the attacks have tripled since the invasion, Prof.

Russia He said his invasion was necessary to protect civilians in the east. UkraineA false claim made by the USA Russia He would use the invasion as an excuse. Ukraine called Russia‘the attack will be a war of aggression’ and will ‘defend itself and win’.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.


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