back to article Crims shut off Ukraine power in wide-ranging anniversary hacks

Hackers of unknown origin cut power supplies in Ukraine for a second time in 12 months as part of wide-ranging attacks that hit the country in December. The attacks were revealed at the S4x17 conference in Miami in which Honeywell security researcher Marina Krotofil offered reporters some detail into the exploitation that …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Maybe I'm being simplistic here and I realize the problems it would create but unplug those critical infrastructure systems from the Internet. Yes, you'll have to have techs available 24/7 but presumably that would be a private LAN without an Internet connection.

    Banks and the like are a problem as they need an Internet connection. But if a system can be disconnected from the Internet, it should be. Emails and attachments are headache I'm not sure can ever be solved except not allowing any email system to ever be attached/connected to a control system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "unplug critical infrastructure from the Internet."

      The fact that little has changed in a year speaks volumes. So what's wrong? At a guess there are executives in HQ who want access to real-time data from all the generation plants. But they refuse to pay for a dedicated closed lines system as it would endanger bonuses. Everything is about short-termism and cost control now, so someone else gets to inherit the problems down the line.

  2. sean.fr

    How sure this is not hype

    We are in a context where major pressure is beeing used to distant Trump from Russia. Earlier reports from Ukraine had significant walk back. While malaware was found when investigating earlier outagates, it was less clear the malware actually caused the outages.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: How sure this is not hype

      Well, shall I shed tears or what?

      Ukraine pretended to investigate and in reality did f*** all (if not assisted) in more than 8 cases of blowing up the grid pylons between mainland and Crimea with dynamite. They got whacked in return.

      Let's say you are making a living off software and you cannot work for days because the Ukrainian police are standing around smoking and giggling while "freedom fighters" attach dynamite to a grid pylon. Let's say you do some of the gray (if not black) hat stuff to make a living. Are you going to be pissed. I would.

      There are plenty of people entirely unrelated to Putin and the Russian state living in Crimea (quite a few of them way towards the black part of the hat color). Some of them are even on the FBI most wanted list (you can check last well known locations for them - at least 2 were in Crimea last time I looked). So the Ukraine grid being knocked out as a retaliation does not surprise me. In the slightest.

      1. Pen-y-gors

        Re: How sure this is not hype

        Out of idle curiousity, given that Crimea has been invaded and occupied by a foreign government, what use are grid pylons between Crimea and the rest of Ukraine? Surely a sensible approach would be to cut the power anyway, so whether the pylons are up or down is irrelevant.

        1. frobnicate
          Trollface

          Re: How sure this is not hype

          Once you learn that diesel fuel that runs the Ukrainian army is mostly supplied by the very same foreign power, which that army is purportedly fighting, you will start understanding how things work there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Attack of the Siberian Cyber bogeyman :)

    'Marina Krotofil said .. that this testbed-type approach against Ukraine is considered by experts as a "standard practice" by Russian hackers for testing out their tools and attacks.'

    If I wanted to hear anti-Russian BS I would go and watch Faux News.

  4. DanceMan

    If I wanted to hear Putin's BS I'd watch RT. It's interesting to note that unlike NHK, DW, or France24, almost nothing on RT is about Russia.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Yeah, but quite a lot of is about things you don't hear about on DW and France24, whereas the latter dish the daily Soma about how we are Good In Syria, Ukraine is on the freedom train, our Politictactoeicians are glorious (especially Merkel), Trump is 100% pig disgusting and Putin is in every router and underneath children's bed.

      Also:

      Further attacks against the State Administration of Railway Transport left Ukrainians unable to purchase rail tickets and delayed payments when the Treasury and Pension Fund was compromised

      Railways down and the Pension Fund empty? A daily occurrence in France.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Ouch

    Sounds like someone was playing "Alien Isolation: Corporate Lockdown" for real.

  6. Pen-y-gors

    On the bright side

    Putin doesn't need to write a new statement denying it. He can just recycle the Drumpf ones.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: On the bright side

      You seem to be alluding to this bullshit

      1. druck Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: On the bright side

        Bullshit? It's all true, Trump is just pissed that stories of a video showing him with a room full of Russian prostitutes has come out now. Vlad was supposed to leak it in 4 years time, as given how much the groping tape actually helped him in the polls, it would have undoubtedly won him a second term.

  7. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "the variance in security controls"

    'variance' does not mean 'variability'.

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