Hackers Targeting US Electric Grid

Hackers Targeting US Electric Grid

A group of hackers has targeted the U.S. power grid over the past several months but has so far been unable to trigger any outages or other incidents, a cybersecurity firm said in an analysis Friday.

The company, Dragos, has been tracking the hacker group known as Xenotime or the Triton actor for months as it scans the U.S. electrical grid looking for weaknesses. The group is known for its Triton malware, which was responsible for disabling the cybersecurity systems at Saudi Arabia's Petro Rabigh oil refinery in 2017.

Dragos called the Triton malware the "most dangerous threat to" industrial control systems.

The cybersecurity company said so far the hacker group has been unable to access any power grid systems. The scanning could be an indication of an attack to come, though, especially since the hackers have been successful in Saudi Arabia.

"Xenotime expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary's willingness to compromise process safety -- and thus integrity -- to fulfill its mission," a Dragos blog postsaid.

The company encouraged U.S. electrical companies to boost their cybersecurity to prevent a potential future attack.


REMINDER: You clicking one or more of the 12 ads below generates Advertiser revenue of two to three cents per click - no purchase necessary by you -- which helps offset operating costs for this web site.

You must login to post a comment.
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    His self · 4 months ago
    This type of activity guarantees that the grid will get hit, and big time.......


    We have been warned!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    · 4 months ago
    Keep in mind the vulnerability of sub-station transformers. It takes a long time to get new ones made. They are not protected very well from what I've seen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matthew DeGumbia · 4 months ago
    The reason that the "grid", the transmission and distribution systems have not been "hacked" is because the actual supervisory control and data acquisition systems are isolated from public data communications systems and run in private dedicated communications links. And these systems use proprietary codes, programs and controllers, not common industrial PLC's or computers. These grid control systems are difficult to put into service and require extensive installation to implement and test by some of the best and brightest people. How do I know? I helped write the national standards for these systems and spent 25+ years of my career designing, building and implementing SCADA systems. Never once was there ever an intrusion into our system athough there were many atempts to the public side. I laugh every time I hear these scare mongers. Proof? Go to http://www.cvx.com/ , no way to access the private side from the public, even though the data is made available
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Grim · 4 months ago
    The only reason our electrical grid hasn't been deliberately collapsed yet, is because the *powers that be* haven't decided to do it. However, given that it's the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to bring this country to it's knees and eliminate a majority of the population, it's guaranteed to happen in the near future.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jared Passenger · 4 months ago
    How much do you want to bet that the next major "hack" that effects the nations power grid or a utility company in the US will be directly (and quickly before any real objective evidence can be collected or investigated) linked to Iran or a proxy of Iran? Sleeper cells? Sure, hidden everywhere. Attack from within and without. Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, oh... I mean Syria Syria Syria, er...I mean Afghanistan, no... Iran! Yes, Iran I mean... at least for now. One day it will be Russia and China the real end game targets. But, right now, there is money to be made. They can wait. Think of the money we can make on inside trading on oil futures, weapon stocks, bonds. There is an election to be won. A war time president is always popular right? Sure! Osama Bin Laden where are you when we need you? Sigh... I guess I am just getting to old to believe the BS shoveled out again and again by the social engineers of spin and profit.