Malware Bites Into European Power Plants


A new type of malware, dubbed Industroyer, has poked its nasty nose into the news. It was detected and analyzed by security firms ESET and Dragos after an attack last December tripped circuit breakers at a Ukrainian high-tension station, cutting power to the neighborhood. Designed to attack electrical distribution networks, it can affect any type of plant, mapping its computer network and sabotaging it automatically. Dragos CEO Robert Lee says all Europe is vulnerable and other regions are not immune. Industroyer is more dangerous than Stuxnet, conceived to attack Iranian nuclear plants. It hobbles critical infrastructure by attacking supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) that monitor and control industrial installations, with immediate consequences for surrounding populations. Moreover, the attack repeats itself in an endless loop, making it hard to counter. While Industroyer has yet to cause permanent damage, this remains a possibility. Its presence underscores the need to revamp legacy SCADA protocols elaborated before the era of cyber security threats.

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