Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, September 15, 2019

For nearly three years, the December 2016 cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid has presented a menacing puzzle. Two days before Christmas that year, Russian hackers planted a unique specimen of malware in the network of Ukraine's national grid operator, Ukrenergo. Just before midnight, they used it to open every circuit breaker in a transmission station north of Kyiv.

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Tech flex, or possibly something covert was happening behind the scenes which required a small window of power outage to accomplish.

#1 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-14 08:49 PM | Reply

Anyone with intent can disrupt a power system. A malware attack can be remedied. Isolate the system. But that doesn't prevent some highly motivated individuals from pulling down a transmission line or hitting a substation with a few rockets from a RPG.

#2 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-09-14 09:03 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

@#2 ... A malware attack can be remedied. Isolate the system. ...

Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

Penetration of isolated systems has been accomplished by dropping "contaminated" USB thumb drives in the employee parking lots of targeted companies.

... But that doesn't prevent some highly motivated individuals from pulling down a transmission line or hitting a substation with a few rockets from a RPG. ..

It is easier to get a USB thumb drive through customs than a RPG.

#3 | Posted by lamplighter at 2019-09-14 10:40 PM | Reply

#3 | Posted by lamplighter, You are speaking of a country at war with weapons everywhere. Ukraine is full of weapons of every stripe. RPGs are probity faster, but a few rounds from a heavy machine gun would have the same effect.

#4 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-09-15 08:23 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

- by dropping "contaminated" USB thumb drives in the employee parking lots

LOL. maybe in the Ukraine, or Bhopal India. But gov't and major utilities (gas, power, cable, phone, etc) have been actively training for years.

I can't even plug a USB into my company laptop without a host of security apps going berserk and calling corporate IT.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-09-15 02:25 PM | Reply

Regarding kinetic attacks against utility companies:
Someone shared this one in the Retort a year or so ago, the Metcalf sniper attack against a US power company's facility

en.m.wikipedia.org

#6 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-15 11:30 PM | Reply

Holodomor 2.0, non-electric boogaloo?

#7 | Posted by berserkone at 2019-09-16 02:47 AM | Reply

Penetration of isolated systems has been accomplished by dropping "contaminated" USB thumb drives in the employee parking lots of targeted companies.

#3 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER AT 2019-09-14 10:40 PM | REPLY

Bad security. Disable USB, lock the BIOS.

#8 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-09-16 07:39 AM | Reply

All it takes is one employee clicking on targeted spam email..

#9 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-16 08:22 AM | Reply

Isolate your critical systems. What kind of -------- do you work in with such lax IT standards?

#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-09-16 08:55 AM | Reply

@#8 ... Bad security. Disable USB, lock the BIOS. ...

I know that, and you know that. :)

However, the number of times it has succeeded indicates that there are many companies that do not practice that.

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 09:50 AM | Reply

@#2 ... But that doesn't prevent some highly motivated individuals from pulling down a transmission line or hitting a substation with a few rockets from a RPG. ...

I've read a couple of security blogs that suggested that this attempt by Russia was a ~trial run~ of disabling a power grid remotely.

So, yeah, if you have physical access you can do damage with a machine gun.

However, it is that need for physical access that this method obviates.

#12 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 09:53 AM | Reply

I know that, and you know that. :) #11 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

It is known.
+
The North Remembers.

/GoT

#13 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-16 11:15 AM | Reply

Isolate your critical systems. What kind of -------- do you work in with such lax IT standards?

#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg

Tell it to your party which refuses to pass any legislation to do that for our election systems.

#14 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-09-16 07:32 PM | Reply

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