Bayshore Blog Post: Forbes

January 4, 2016

From Thomas Fox-Brewster in Ukraine claims hackers caused power outage on Christmas

Thomas Fox-Brewster reports that, just before Christmas, power went out across western Ukraine. Soon after, the energy ministry confirmed it was exploring claims a cyber attack disrupted local energy provider Prykarpattyaoblenergo, causing blackouts across the Ivano-Frankivsk region on 23 December. The SBU state intelligence service said Russian attempts to disrupt the country’s power grid had been deflected, but did not comment on any specific attack.

The details were patchy. But today, the Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine – CERT-UA – told FORBES the outages were caused by an attack. National CERTs are in charge of coordinating responses to and investigations into cyber attacks. Eugene Bryksin, a member of the government organization, said it was working with Prykarpattyaoblenergo on the investigation but could provide no information other than to confirm the accuracy of the reports.

If his information was accurate, the attack is a rare public example of hackers taking out critical infrastructure and another sign of the rising digitization of warfare.