US launches investigation to probe into cyber attack on Ukraine’s power grid

6 January 2016 (Last Updated January 6th, 2016 18:30)

The US Department of Homeland Security, CIA and the National Security Agency have jointly initiated an investigation to delve into a cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid on 23 December 2015.

The US Department of Homeland Security, CIA and the National Security Agency have jointly initiated an investigation to delve into a cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid on 23 December 2015.

The ‘black-out’, which had affected approximately 700,000 households in Ukraine, had lasted for several hours, reports the Daily Beast.

Prykarpattyaoblenergo, an energy company in western Ukraine, claimed the blackout to be the result of an ‘interference’ in its systems.

Computer security experts in the US has also confirmed that BlackEnergy, which is a malware used in a cyber attack campaign on the US power grid in 2014, has been found in the firm’s computer networks.

"The initiative is expected to stop hackers from gaining control over portions of the nation’s power grid … and cause localised power outages."

This has prompted the US officials to seek whether Russian hackers were behind the attack.

The Ukrainian Government has publicly accused Russia for the cyber attack on its power grid.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under the US Department of Energy has also started a new initiative, which is aimed at stopping such cyber attacks.

The initiative is expected to stop hackers from gaining control over portions of the nation’s power grid, which has the possibility for damaging electrical equipment, and cause localised power outages.

The research organisation has started developing a Test Bed for Secure Distributed Grid Management, which is being backed by NREL’s laboratory directed research and development programme.