Ukraine Suffers Power Outage Possibly Due to Energy Plant Hack

The affected company claims outage was caused by an “external interference.”

Looks like hackers are hell bent on giving Ukrainians a glimpse of stone age by keep on targeting country’s power sector. In the latest, Ukraine’s national energy company has become a victim of what could be a massive cyber attack.

Ukrenergo, the national energy company, experienced power failure this Saturday. In a post on Facebook, the director of the firm Vsevolod Kovalchuk stated that the outage has mainly occurred on the northern side of Kiev and its nearby areas. According to the understanding of engineers at the company, the outage was caused by an “external interference” and the breach was materialized through “data network.”

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The cyber-security experts were immediately handed over the task of investigating the matter and resolving the issue so that the power could be resumed. To address the issue, Ukrenergo engineers had to switch back to manual mode. The power restoration process was completed in 30 minutes whereas complete repairing of the issue was carried out within an hour and 15 minutes.

According to Kovalchuk, the power outage was caused by a “failure in automation control” due to which it was mandatory to firstly convert the system on manual mode and then carry out a full restoration. Ukraine has experienced power outage previously as well when in 2015 hackers attacked the power grid of the country using BlackEnergy and KillDisk malware to infect the computers and shut down operating systems.

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In January this year, Ukraine airport’s computer networks were also shut down after being infected with BlackEnergy Malware. In 2014, Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack from Russia which blocked mobile networks in the country. However, when it comes to the recent outage, it is unclear who was behind this attack.

Written by Agan Uzunovic

Agan Uzunovic is a Bosnian journalist who is working for the country's largest newspaper. He has a keen interest in reporting on activism and hacktivism. He is also a contributor at U.S based Revolution News media. Agan reports and writes for HackRead on IT security related topics.