Hackers Penetrate Power Plants: New Cyber Weapon Infects Power Plant Control Systems

A sophisticated new cyber weapon, created by a Russian hacking group, has penetrated over 1,000 energy firms infecting their systems and giving hackers access to power plant control systems.

According to the Daily Mail, over 1,000 European and U.S. Energy companies have been infected with a computer virus, known as “Energetic Bear” that allows hackers to take control of power plants and cripple their systems with the click of a mouse.

The attack, which is believed to have affected 1,000 energy companies in over 80 countries, targeted energy grid operators, oil pipelines, power plants, and industry industrial equipment providers.

According to Symantec, an American Cyber security firm, the group “initially targeted defense and aviation companies in the US and Canada before shifting its focus mainly to US and European energy firms in early 2013.”

The affected energy companies have all started to remove the Malware, but the fact that this group was able to able to penetrate so many different systems and operate for months – up to 18 months by some estimates – without being detected highlights just how vulnerable our entire infrastructure is to attack.

Is an Attack Power Grid Eminent?

The threat from cyber terrorists is very real, and as far back as 2012 Cyber Security Eugene Kaspersky was warning that the consequences of this type of attack would be devastating to the world. In fact, back in 2012 he warned that the threat could spell “the end of the world as we know it.” While some may say he was over-hyping the threat, the fact is, any sort of attack that crippled the grid would likely kill millions.

As we pointed out last week, government estimates say that within 1 year of an attack that took out our power grid, 9 out of 10 of all Americans would be dead. Our government simply isn’t prepared to deal with the chaos from this type of attack, and our urban centers cannot function without electricity. In a very short period of time, major cities will become death traps to those stuck inside.

9 Comments

  1. no power,,no water or food.
    zombie-a person whom has had no food or water for a few days,,,is this why we are seing so many movies about zombies?
    i think the people that live in large cities and are not ready are going to be walking around like what we see in theese movies.

  2. NYC, LA, Chicago, Buffalo, Miami, Dallas or any other of that size city are going to be reduced to massive open graveyard. all large cities will be the same. i should just say “cities” in general.
    the longer someone has lived in the city, the farther they are removed from a rural lifestyle. unless they have any experience in farming and can get out quickly they will either die or become targets.
    i actually don’t think that unless you are a huge prepper and enough to last more than a year that anyone will make it. because the bodies that will be laying around will cause diseases and any animal left unattended will eventually start feeding on those bodies. this will not only infect them but they will be worse than any “wild” animals out there now who preys on humans.

  3. This article has a lot of food for thought in it. Earlier, we heard about the power station damaged with rifle rounds and the impact it had on those it served. Now, hackers have access to the programs running most power stations. Not good. The scenario of such attack will be like what was depicted in the book One Second After. On top of everything else, the violence and anarchy that would result from one or more of these stations being shutdown is beyond comprehension. After all. take away the things most people in the US take for granted, and all of a sudden, and you will have……

  4. The only thing I wonder about with all of this…
    We all know that most of the world hates our guts. And then you have these terrorist groups. And everyone knows what kinds of things the U.S. is vulnerable to.
    So if it is so easy, if all it takes is the click of a mouse…… what is it that any of these countries or groups is waiting for?

      • Have you ever tried to secure a Networked factory let alone a power plant? Easy for you to call it “Hype”. Target was for profit hacking. We will be the next “Target” and money will not get you past empty shelf’s and no water plants if the grid goes down.

    • Hecate, many hackers are just hacking for the fun of it. They simply want bragging rights. As for the hacking of the power grid, this may or may not pose a real threat. The hackers are russian so they are probably not fans of the U.S. Still they may only wish to brag about the fact that they hacked the grid.

  5. I work in the power generation industry , It is perhaps the softest target in the US. Whether by cyber attack or a physical attack… Think unguarded power lines and switchyards ….Most power plants have only unarmed security ( nuclear is the exception )and token physical barriers.. It is only a matter of time before they a hit,,,, Whether by foreign or domestic ( think La Raza) terrorists .

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