Ukraine War Highlights Vulnerability Of Critical Energy Infrastructure

"Keeping energy supplies safe from hackers is becoming more important, as countries decarbonize their economies and modernize electricity grids."

"Minutes before Russian troops marched into Ukraine in late February, a satellite link connected to 5,800 wind turbines across Central Europe suddenly stopped working.

The turbines kept spinning, but they have since been running on autopilot and cannot be reset remotely.

"The communication services failed almost simultaneously with the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine," wind turbine producer Enercon said in a press statement Tuesday. The exact cause of the malfunction is unknown, but the company, which has reported the case to Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), says it has ruled out a technical malfunction on its side. Neither Enercon nor the BSI responded to requests for comment.

As the Russian army pushes deeper into Ukraine, targeting civilians and shelling Europe's biggest nuclear power plant, and hackers take down government websites in waves of cyberattacks, the security of the Ukraine's power sector has been thrown into question. The war has inflamed tensions between Russia and the NATO alliance, shining a light on weak spots in the cybersecurity of global electricity supplies."

Ajit Niranjan reports for Deutsche Welle March 7, 2022.

Source: DW, 03/08/2022