Categories: News

Power Station Safety Systems Get Successfully Hacked

Power Station Safety Systems Hacked

Hacking is a major problem. Particularly these days when it seems to have state-sponsorship from countries to whom our relationships are frosty. At best.

The concern, however, reaches new heights when it turns out that hackers are targeting power stations and plants. We only reported earlier in the year how hackers were apparently bombarding nuclear power plants with cyber attacks. In a major watershed moment in security, however, a power station has reported that it had been successfully hacked.

In a report via the Guardian, it is thought that the hacker/s managed to successfully gain control of a monitoring station which dealt specifically with safety checks. As part of a larger system, the attack compromised nuclear, oil and coal power plants. Of these, at least one confirmed as having to temporarily shut down due to the attack. Such attacks are clearly alarming to all.

State-sponsored hacking

Targeting the safety systems at the Triconex industrial safety technology, the hackers gained access using malware known as “Triton”. The malware allowed the hacker/s to take temporary control of a key safety monitoring station.

This isn’t the first time that part of the power grid has been successfully hacked, but it is perhaps the most alarming. Prior attacks were either seemingly benign or to low-level systems. This attack was on the safety monitoring for several power plants. A factor which could have serious repercussions on both their operation and general safety.

The bottom line is that key facilities such as these should have the best level of cybersecurity. I appreciate that state-sponsored hacking should be better than the average basement dweller, however, if power stations can be compromised, we may have a serious problem on our hands. The kind of problem I prefer, frankly, to not think too much about.

What do you think? Scary? Should their security be better? Is hacking ahead of the game here? – Let us know in the comments! In the meantime, here are some completely useless safety instructions. Just in case. Better to be safe than sorry!

Mike Sanders

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