A widely feared nightmare scenario has finally occurred, although in another country — hackers were able to cause a widespread power failure in the Ukraine by infecting utilities’ computers with malware.
Half of the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of the Ukraine lost electricity Dec. 23 because of a malicious software program called Black Energy.
It is the first time a cyberattack has caused a widespread blackout.
“It’s a milestone because we’ve definitely seen targeted destructive events against energy before — oil firms, for instance — but never the event which causes the blackout,” John Hultquist of the cybersecurity firm iSIGHT told Ars Technica. “It’s the major scenario we’ve all been concerned about for so long.”