U.S. researchers claim that hackers allied with the government of Russia have developed a new cyberweapon that can disrupt power grids. If the information is correct, the cyberweapon has the potential to be the most disruptive weapon of its kind as it would take our electric systems which will have a direct impact on the lives of people living in the United States.
Researchers have named this malware as CrashOverride. It was apparently used to disrupt a power grid in Ukraine last December. Hackers had managed to briefly shut down one-fifth of the entire electricity generation in the capital city of Kiev back then.
Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that has researched this malware extensively, has issued a new report which claims that with a few modifications, this cyberweapon can be deployed against electric transmission and distribution systems in the United States.
The researchers are also of the view that hackers aligned with the country’s government have already expressed their interest in going after energy and other utility systems in the United States.
While the new malware is reason enough for concern, experts in the energy sector point out that the industry has been working hard to thwart such attempts from attackers who want to gain access to their systems and shut things down.
It’s a game of cat and mouse that will continue for years to come as warfare moves beyond the battlefields to rooms filled with computer experts tasked with infiltrating the opponent’s systems.