Ukraine foiled Russian cyberattack that tried to shut down energy grid

Russian military hackers tried and failed to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure last week, the country’s government and a major cybersecurity company said Tuesday. The attack was designed to infiltrate computers connected to multiple substations, then delete all files, which would shut that infrastructure down, according to Ukraine’s summary of the incident. ESET, a Slovakia-based cybersecurity company working to help secure Ukrainian infrastructure, said in a summary of the attack that it was conducted by the same arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, GRU, that had executed similar attacks successfully in 2014 and 2015. In both of those incidents, some residents of Kyiv temporarily lost power. This attack had been planned for at least two weeks, ESET said. The attack adds to a growing number of efforts by Russia to target crucial Ukrainian infrastructure, some of which have been successful. Ukraine has faced multiple “wiper” attacks, including ones that have targeted computers in Ukraine’s government, financial institutions and internet service providers. Those attacks also look to mass-delete files from hacked computers. Russia has succeeded in hampering some of the country’s internet providers.

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OODA Analyst

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