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It looks like there’s been a big power grid hack in India

Kevin Perry just forwarded me this story about a major grid outage in Mumbai, India on October 13. It has now been identified as caused by a cyberattack after a big investigation (it’s nice that the authorities didn’t declare it a cyberattack up front, but actually did the hard legwork to confirm their suspicion before they announced it). It sounds like there will be a news conference soon that will reveal more information.

I note in one of the two Indian news stories linked in the Security Week article that “hackers have been trying to target the country’s power utilities since February”. In June, there was “a swarm of 40,000-plus hacking attacks by non-state groups (I wonder how they know they were non-state groups) purportedly operating from China..”

If so, this is the first I’ve heard of Chinese actors even seriously targeting a power grid, let alone causing an outage. I thought that was Russia’s job.

Any opinions expressed in this blog post are strictly mine and are not necessarily shared by any of the clients of Tom Alrich LLC. If you would like to comment on what you have read here, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at tom@tomalrich.com.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 23, 2020

Cause for concern, no doubt. What's the state of grid cybersecurity in India compared with other national grids? Would they be expected to pass the bar of being protected like other industrialized grids, or would there have been concerns about being more vulnerable to these types of attacks? 

Tom Alrich's picture

Thank Tom for the Post!

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