Two cyber security firms declared that hackers have come up with yet another way to control the lives of people. They have created a strong malware that will close electricity distribution system and other sensitive infrastructure.
In history the most powerful hacking threat was Stuxnet. It was a tool that was created to disrupt Iran’s nuclear power. It was believed that USA and Israeli Intelligence were behind this hacking. Now, today, as per Slovakia-based ESET this hacking threat of closing power systems is the most powerful threat since Stuxnet.
As per ESET this could be the malware that caused an hour shutdown of electricity in Kiev, Ukraine capital, previous December.
Let’s see how this malware, named Industroyer works. It works by making use of communication protocols built years ago in energy, water, transportation and gas supplies globally. Those protocols can be tampered with as they are not secure enough. When hackers can control those protocols they get direct access to govern electricity distribution switches and circuit breakers. Thus hackers can easily destroy equipment and close power supply.
It is not clear who is behind this hacking malware, but in a report another cyber security company has linked this to a Sandworm, a Russian hacker group which is also connected to Russian government.
So does the report suggest that Russian government is behind this?
CrashOverride is a name given to this malware by Dragos who further said that after Stuxnet this is the second malware that can control and upset the industrial process.
The malware isn’t fixed to a certain location or a specific vendor. It uses the information about grid operations and network communication to spread its disease. Therefore it can cause power breakage anywhere around the world, be it Europe or Asia.
Moreover with a little adaptation the malware can also concentrate its strength against the North American power grid. Also it can work simultaneously at various electricity stations. It could last for days even. So it needs to be stopped before it completely controls our lives.