Ukraine is no stranger to massive cyber attacks targeting its infrastructure. In fact, many believe it has been a testing ground to develop more powerful attacks to cripple other nations. As a result, some are looking at how to best prepare for what seems like the inevitable.
In 2015, Ukraine sustained an attack that lasted six hours and affected more than 100,000 people. Christian Borys from the BBC writes, “A brazen example of this new era occurred on 23 December 2015, when a stunned Ukrainian power plant worker watched the cursor on his computer screen come to life. As the cursor began to click through his system, he tried to regain control, but became locked out of his own computer. From far away, a sophisticated hacker was controlling his computer.”
Warwick Ashford from Computer Weekly believes that while 2017 was the year for election hacking, 2018 could be the year of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. And this could mean infecting the various pillars that society relies on, like communication, energy, and transportation.
Quoting Pauline Neville-Jones, a member of the UK House of Lords and a former member of the UK National Security Council, Ashford writes, “This is especially dangerous because democratic societies are driving towards an increasing dependency on ICT (information and communications technology) systems without properly securing them first against incidents.”
Talking with Jon Nichols, a former US military IT expert, BBC’s Borys reports, “Many of the ICS’s (incident command systems) that run critical infrastructure around North America were designed 30 years ago, long before cyber-security was factored into design and decision making. That makes them highly vulnerable to attacks.”
Borys quotes Nichols as saying, “If you take the hypothetical example of a coal power plant in West Virginia, we could scan it down using off-the-shelf hacker tools that I could show you how to use in 15 minutes.”
In response, as BBC reports, organizations like IBM and Bechtel have launched training camps–or labs–to help prepare for the battle ahead.
Read the full story at BBC.