In addition to its military incursion into Ukraine, Russia reportedly sent military hackers last week to attempt to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, but they were unsuccessful.
According to the Ukrainian government and an information security company, Russian hackers planned to hack into computers connected to multiple substations and then delete all the files in them in order to paralyze the infrastructure.
The Slovakian information security company ESET, which helps maintain Ukraine’s infrastructure, revealed that similar attacks carried out by the Russian military intelligence unit GPU successfully shut down Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2014 and 2015. ESET said the attack was at least two weeks in preparation.
Kyiv’s energy companies haven’t been hit with the obvious hacking attacks since the Russian incursion began at the end of February, but local government departments, financial institutions and internet service providers have all been attacked several times in attempts to hack into computers and delete files.
A Ukrainian official in charge of information security admitted at an online news conference that some computers had been hacked and a facility was suspended, but it was quickly repaired and no users were affected by the power outage.
The official revealed that Ukraine’s information security is guarded by a team of their IT staff, intelligence services, ESET and Microsoft.