Ukraine suffered a Hack Attack in December when over 200,000 people were left without Power for several hours after an implanted malware led to the shutdown of some substations. The incident was analyzed and what was considered dangerous was the type of malware the hackers used.

Are power firms at risk?

The analyses made by experts at Def Con and Black Hat show that power firms can be attacked by hackers using that type of malware as their level of cybernetic security is low.

One of the experts who analyzed the cyber attack in Ukraine believes that power grid operators should become conscious of the possibility of other incidents like that taking place.

Operators need to prepare to protect their consumers against this new kind of threat.

The incident in December last year was preceded by another hack attack in March 2015, so that was not the only cyber attack that used malware to shut down the power for several hours in Ukraine.

Is this type of malware easy to spot?

After the analysis of the event in late December made by the experts at Def Con and Black Hat, power firms interested in securing their networks have more information than before. However, the hacking methods are hard to spot as there are almost no visible signals of intrusion in the network.

Other experts consider that the incident in Ukraine did not leave signs that indicate the hackers were also targeting other networks.

Even so, they believe the methods used by the hackers could be used in other countries as well as the hackers are getting more and more experienced.

What regions are most exposed?

One of the specialists who analyzed the event stresses that power firms in the US are not as exposed to this threat because the hardware used in this region isn’t similar to the one in Ukraine.

Other regions are very exposed to the risk, the examples given by him being Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He thus criticized authorities for not taking measures to make power firms aware of the threat. Nowadays most of the security methods need electrical power, so having several cities without power for a few minutes could have negative consequences.

If this type of event took place and lasted for several hours or even days, the impact would be more dramatic.

Even if there were not many cases of hack attacks on power firms so far, awareness about this is important as it could pose a great threat to the national security of many countries.