Energy


  • How Threat Intelligence Helps the Energy Sector Fight Cyberespionage

    August 13, 2019

    When it comes to cyber threats, some industries have it harder than others. Few are as heavily targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks as the energy sector. Over the last decade, state-sponsored hacking groups have routinely targeted utility networks and other energy providers for the purposes of espionage and disruption. And according to the latest research, advanced persistent threat (APT) ...

  • US wants to isolate power grids with ‘retro’ technology to limit cyber-attacks

    July 2, 2019

    The US is very close to improving power grid security by mandating the use of “retro” (analog, manual) technologies on US power grids as a defensive measure against foreign cyber-attacks that could bring down power distribution as a result. The idea is to use “retro” technology to isolate the grid’s most important control systems, to limit ...

  • U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

    June 15, 2019

    The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously ...

  • Researchers Link ‘Sharpshooter’ Cyber Attacks to North Korean Hackers

    March 4, 2019

    Security researchers have finally, with “high confidence,” linked a previously discovered global cyber espionage campaign targeting critical infrastructure around the world to a North Korean APT hacking group. Thanks to the new evidence collected by researchers after analyzing a command-and-control (C2) server involved in the espionage campaign and seized by law enforcement. Dubbed Operation Sharpshooter, the cyber espionage ...

  • South African Power Firm Eskom Fails To Secure Customer Data

    February 6, 2019

    A security researcher resorted to a public tweet about a serious data breach involving customer data, after a South African electricity provider ignored all other pleas to resolve the leak. Security researcher Devin Stokes issued the public tweet to Eskom, which is South Africa’s state-owned electricity company. The fact that Eskom, which supplies 95 percent of the electricity ...

  • GreyEnergy’s overlap with Zebrocy

    January 24, 2019

    In October 2018, ESET published a report describing a set of activity they called GreyEnergy, which is believed to be a successor to BlackEnergy group. BlackEnergy (a.k.a. Sandworm) is best known, among other things, for having been involved in attacks against Ukrainian energy facilities in 2015, which led to power outages. Like its predecessor, GreyEnergy malware has ...

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open to IoT Attacks

    December 14, 2018

    Flaws could allow an attacker to stop or start a home charging station, or even change the current in order to start a fire. Given that creating proof-of-concept (PoC) cyberattacks for the Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially like shooting fish in a barrel these days, perhaps it’s not exactly surprising that a new niche category ...

  • Operation Sharpshooter Uses Fileless Malware to Attack Global Infrastructure

    December 12, 2018

    The McAfee Advanced Threat Research team detected a malware campaign dubbed Operation Sharpshooter which attacked nuclear, defense, energy, and financial targets from all over the world. As detailed by McAfee’s research team, the campaign dubbed “Operation Sharpshooter” makes use of an in-memory essential to download and execute a second stage payload named Rising Sun. Moreover, the Rising Sun implant ...

  • Saipem servers suffer cyber attack in Middle East

    December 10, 2018

    Italian oil services company Saipem (SPMI.MI) said it had identified a cyber attack out of India on Monday that had primarily affected its servers in the Middle East. “We are collecting all the elements useful for assessing the impact on our infrastructures and the actions to be taken to restore normal activities,” the firm said in ...

  • Cloud, cars and IoT could change grid cybersecurity

    November 6, 2018

    The proliferation of connected devices including electric cars could provide grid operators with an operational view of cybersecurity threats and change the way the grid is secured, said Karen Evans, assistant secretary of the Energy Department’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response. While experts generally consider the internet of things to be a risky ...

  • Hackers obtain nuclear power plant plans in France

    November 2, 2018

    Thousands of sensitive documents pertaining to nuclear power plants, prisons and tram networks have been stolen from the servers of a French company in a cyberattack, German and French media have reported Friday. The data illegally accessed from the French company Ingerop back in June amounted to more than 65 gigabytes, according to reports by German ...

  • Utilities, Energy Sector Attacked Mainly Via IT, Not ICS

    November 1, 2018

    Stealing administrative credentials to carry out months-long spy campaigns is a top threat. While industrial control systems (ICS) are the most talked-about when it comes to cyberattacks against energy and utilities firms, most attacks actually take aim at the enterprise IT networks used by these organizations, rather than critical infrastructure itself. The Vectra 2018 Spotlight Report on Energy and ...

  • Industry backs Norway’s AI powerhouse project

    October 2, 2018

    Norway is stepping up its efforts in the rapidly evolving and increasingly commercial artificial intelligence (AI) sector. Participants in the latest programme want to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenues by tapping into AI opportunities in its growing technology sector. Norway has traditionally played a junior role in the context of Nordic technology development, investment and ...

  • An insider view of a cybersecurity training workshop for employees of Europe’s transmission system operators.

    October 1, 2018

    After the hackers had stealthily accessed the SCADA system and blew the transformer with a loud bang, the defenceless employees had no option but to remove the control plugs and manually turn the machine back on. “That’s what they had to do in Ukraine,” said Michael John, Director of Operations at the European Network for Cybersecurity (ENCS), referring to the world’s ...

  • Cyber security threat to Britain’s oil and gas sites as attack could cause ‘unprecedented damage’

    August 17, 2018

    Brian Lord OBE says a successful attack on its infrastructure could cause “unprecedented damage” and “unrest across the world”. With a complex ecosystem of computation, networking, and physical operational processes spread around the world the industry has a large attack surface with many attack vectors. A typical large oil and gas company uses half a million processors ...

  • Can you recover the power grid after a cyberattack? The Department of Energy finds out

    August 6, 2018

    The US Department of Energy (DoE) is planning a “hands-on” test of the real-world consequences associated with successful cyberattacks against core country services. Cyberattacks levied against critical infrastructure, smart grids, and utilities are not a future possibility; but rather, they are happening now. Ukraine’s power grid blackout in 2016 was one of the first real indicators that ...

  • Poor cybersecurity could destabilise increasingly complex energy grids

    July 26, 2018

    The future of smart energy grids, with automatic management of both supply and demand, is “looking really interesting”, says Phil Kernick, chief technology officer at security firm CQR Consulting. But the current state of the technology and its security is a problem. “The distribution systems and the generation systems were deployed a decade and a half ...

  • No big deal… Kremlin hackers ‘jumped air-gapped networks’ to pwn US power utilities

    July 24, 2018

      The US Department of Homeland Security is once again accusing Russian government hackers of penetrating America’s critical infrastructure. Uncle Sam’s finest reckon Moscow’s agents managed to infiltrate computers networks within US electric utilities – to the point where the miscreants could have virtually pressed the off switch in control rooms, yanked the plug on the Yanks, ...

  • DNV GL launches cyber security recommended practice

    May 27, 2018

    DNV GL has published a ‘recommended practice on cyber security’ for the oil and gas industry, looking at ‘operational technology’ – such as control and automation systems. The recommended practice addresses how oil and gas companies, together with system integrators and vendors, can manage the cyber threat. The recommended practice is the result of a two-year joint ...

  • A critical security flaw in popular industrial software put power plants at risk

    May 2, 2018

    A severe vulnerability in a widely used industrial control software could have been used to disrupt and shut down power plants and other critical infrastructure. Researchers at security firm Tenable found the flaw in the popular Schneider Electric software, used across the manufacturing and power industries, which if exploited could have allowed a skilled attacker to ...