2016 ended with reports of 2 electric utility organizations, on different sides of the world (Ukraine and Vermont), citing cyberattacks or cyber infections. Both incidents highlight that corporate computer infections can threaten power systems and the need for robust ICS security in 2017. This article highlights the steps involved in the watershed 2015 Ukraine utility cyberattack as it moved from IT to OT systems and suggests ways of improving threat detection and mitigation.
Today’s report of a cyberattack on German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp joins a list of high profile cyberattacks on industry where the goal has been to steal proprietary information (Dragonfly, Flame, Duqu) or disrupt business operations (Shamoon). While Industrial Control Systems (ICS) were not impacted this time, the incident is a reminder to ICS operators of the risks associated with Advanced Persistent Threats.