back to article Techie on the ground disputes BlackEnergy Ukraine power outage story

A Ukrainian telecoms engineer has raised doubts about the widely reported link between BlackEnergy attacks and power outages in his country. Illia Ilin said that reports suggesting Russian state sponsored hackers used the BlackEnergy malware to infect the control systems of energy distribution utilities and cause blackouts …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ilia Ilin seems a sensible chap

    That's all.

  2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    A lone voice of reason.

  3. Cincinnataroo

    It would be really cool if the media continued investigating and started detailed reporting after the headline article is published.

  4. DropBear Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So we're basically uncertain there were any actual blackouts at all?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Devil

      No the blackouts are fairly well documented, whether they had ANY cause associated with Hacking/malware is dubious at this point.

      Next week - Network Rail reports leaves on line caused by Russian hacking....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Next week - Network Rail reports leaves on line caused by Russian hacking...."

        Effectively already happening. Our politicos, and their right-wing media bitches have been blaming Russia, and more specifically Putin, for everything they possibly can; anything to divert attention from their own lies and hypocrisy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Our politicos, and their right-wing media bitches have been blaming Russia, and more specifically Putin, for everything they possibly can; anything to divert attention from their own lies and hypocrisy.

          It ain't working.

        2. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          @LeeE

          "Our politicos, and their right-wing media bitches have been blaming Russia and Terrorists, and more specifically Putin and ISIS, for everything they possibly can; anything to divert attention from their own lies and hypocrisy."

          FTFY

  5. strum Silver badge

    Gulf of Tonkin Incident

    This wasn't a 'false flag incident'. It was, simply, a false report of an incident.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      False Flags

      it's nice of El'Reg to use the phrase "False Flag" every now and then, after all, a Prime Minister of Italy revealed a massive False Flag attack for decades in Europe called "Gladio" once he felt that it's time had come.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of groups who seem to disagree that Gladio/False Flags in general are history and seemingly persist in using this most anti-democratic of methods. . .and it's a phrase that the BBC has rarely used. . .

      Notable Quote: [from the Parliamentary ‘Intelligence and Security Committee’ debate of 18 March 2010, Andrew Tyrie, MP, said:] the then Foreign Secretary, Mr. Straw, who likened what I and others were suggesting to conspiracy theories. He said:

      “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces . . . there simply is no truth in the claims. . . thanks Jack, waving flags about stuff, Go Rochdale. . .

      by the way - The Register.co.uk was quoted (for the first time that I'm aware) in the seriously academic discussion newsletter "Johnson's Russia List" number 2016-#20 produced by davidjohnson@starpower.net

      A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs* www.ieres.org

      JRL homepage: www.russialist.org (This political discussion list is quite well balanced)

  6. mark 58
    Boffin

    It’s worth remembering that squirrels routinely cause power outages ...

    True - But a squirrel, (or rat, snake, possum etc...), can not cause an N-2 or greater outage so are not a real threat to the system security. Transmission SCADA systems, on the other hand, can automatically open breakers in a matter of seconds in respond to the initiation of a number of different load shed schemes and hence have a built in vulnerability that must be protected from cyber intrusion.

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      RE: Transmission SCADA systems

      <quote>Transmission SCADA systems, on the other hand, can automatically open breakers in a matter of seconds in respond to the initiation of a number of different load shed schemes..</quote>

      Like:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_1965

      (and its re-occurrence) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_blackout_of_1977

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Western_North_America_blackouts

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Ice_Storm_of_1998

      widespread outage resulting from cascading events in a power grid.

      This is NOT news to those who actually are responsible for operating the grid, but it is ignored by the executives in the """lofty towers""" who don't want to pay for it.

    2. ideapete
      Pint

      Ban frigging squirrels

      Its about time we took away all these bloody squirrel , rat , snake , possum ( except lying ) access accounts away then we see who is really the FUBAR maker, us the two legged things with the beer glasses ( hand and eye )

  7. mark 58

    Not really...those incidents above were caused by a myriad factors - none of which was an mis-operation of a SCADA scheme, (although incorrect SCADA readings played a minor role in the Niagara/Upper Eastern States blackout). Also, the "ivory" towered[sic] executives do know all about the risks and there is some amount of cost savings being applied - However, SCADA security flaws are the sole responsibility of the SCADA vendor not the user.

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