Watch Hackers Take Control of Electric Grid

June 27, 2017

National security is one more reason for distributed, renewable energy.
And probably one more reason why the Trump administration is so against it.

Trump/Putin goal for US? The next Ukraine.


Two days before Christmas in 2015, engineers at the Prykkarpatyaoblenergo regional energy company in Western Ukraine found themselves locked out of their PCs. More troubling still, their mouse cursors moved of their own accord. The workers watched as hackers methodically clicked on circuit breakers in their grid operation software, each time opening the breakers and cutting power to another swath of the region.

In the process of reporting our cover story on those blackouts— and the larger cyberwar affecting Ukraine—WIRED obtained a video that one of those engineers shot with his iPhone, recording a “phantom mouse” attack as it happened. The PC shown in the video was a test unit, not actually connected to Prykkarpatyaoblenergo’s grid equipment. But hackers used the same attack on every other networked computer connected to the company’s live electric-control systems, spurring six-hours of blackouts that extended to the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

In WIRED’s investigation of that breach and another blackout that occurred in Ukraine a year later, we’ve tracked the evolution of those hackers: How they’ve graduated to using a digital weapon known as CrashOverride that can trigger Stuxnet-style automated attacks on infrastructure, and how those attacks may just be tests for future operations—perhaps against the United States. Read the full story here.

25 Responses to “Watch Hackers Take Control of Electric Grid”

  1. Gingerbaker Says:

    “National security is one more reason for distributed, renewable energy in the Ukraine.”

    Fixed that for you. 🙂

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      It’s now just Ukraine – we don’t say “The America” or “The France”.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        What if it happened in Netherlands? ;D

      • rayduray Says:


        I recall the 1950s when “the Ukraine” was common and acceptable English. The most direct translation of “Ukraine” is borderland(s) in English.

        So just as there is nothing odd about referring to “the borderlands” we used to think there was nothing odd about referring to “the Ukraine”. I speak as a Polish-American, and we always knew the Ukrainians were not just living in a borderland, but had borderland/line intellectual capacities. Recent history proves my point, yet again. I kid you, of course, just a little bit. 🙂

      • vierotchka Says:

        By the same token, are we to say “United States of America” and not “The United States of America” or “The USA”? And what about “The UK (The United Kingdom), The Philippines,
        The Netherlands, The Czech Republic, The Baltic States, The West Indies, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (oh, two “the” in there!), The United Arab Emirates, The Maldives, The Cook Islands, The Bahamas, The Gambia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, The Maldives, The Marshall Islands, The Seychelles, The Solomon Islands, The Central African Republic, El Salvador, which means “The Savior” in Spanish, The Ivory Coast,”, etc.?

        With regard to The Ukraine, in Russian it literally means ‘the borderland’, while in Ukrainian, it literally means ‘the country’. Conveniently, this allows both countries to hold egocentric tendencies without offending each other. In English the definite article is sometimes removed. Source:

  2. redskylite Says:

    That’s one scary story, as a person who grew up and had a full career starting in the days of paper tape, punch cards and cumbersome mainframes, I remember manufacturers promising a better life for all, less tedious tasks, overall improved quality for workers. All I ever saw was heaps of brown envelopes for laid off souls and now state sponsored thugs attacking power supplies and democratic voting systems.

    Sorry but more sinister news from Moscow and I’m not sure that Trump’s handle on things is any better. And with the news China are the new saviors taking control of climate change leadership – is the communist country any better ?

    “Putin tightens control over Russian Academy of Sciences”

    The Russian government has taken further steps to tighten its grip on the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in Moscow. On 23 June, the State Duma—one of the two chambers of the Russian parliament—passed the first draft of a new law that would give President Vladimir Putin the final say in the elections for RAS’s presidency.

    The bill introduces three main changes. The list of candidates must from now on be approved by the government, and can have not more than three names; a candidate can be elected by winning more than 50% of the vote, instead of the two-thirds needed until now; and the newly elected academy president must be approved by the Russian president.

    • vierotchka Says:

      Don’t be so paranoid and alarmist! Keep calm and meditate. Putin wants to purge junk science and “scientists”, that’s all.

    • vierotchka Says:

      Published on 23 Jun 2017
      President Vladimir Putin met with heads of leading universities, Russian Academy of Sciences institutes, and officials from the Education and Science Ministry. (English subs available)

    • vierotchka Says:

      Russia’s Putin chastises officials who moonlight as academics

      Wed Nov 23, 2016

      By Denis Dyomkin | MOSCOW
      Russian President Vladimir Putin warned senior officials on Wednesday he may fire them if they are found to be moonlighting as academics, which would mean they were not devoting all of their time to their main job.

      The warning, delivered in theatrical fashion at a televised meeting with leading scientists and officials, appeared to be part of a drive by Putin to show ordinary Russians, suffering in an economic slowdown, that he won’t stand for corrupt or lazy officials.

      Wrapping up a meeting about state funding for science, Putin turned to the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yevgeny Fortov, and questioned him about the academy’s election of senior officials as its members.

      “Why did you did this. Are they such great scientists that the Academy of Sciences cannot get by without them. And the second question: what should I do now?”

      A startled Fortov, sitting a few places away from Putin, responded that all those officials had permission from their bosses to run for the academy.

      “That’s not the question. Are they such great scientists that they have to be academicians?” Putin asked again.

      When Fortov began explaining the officials had met the academy’s criteria for election, Putin interrupted him too say: “Then they are great scientists.”

      The president said he should let them go work in science because “it seems their scientific activity is much more important than carrying out some kind of routine administrative task within the executive branch.”

      With that, he ended the meeting.

      Putin did not name any officials. The Academy of Sciences list of members includes at least one senior official, Sergei Glazyev, who is a presidential advisor with a background as an economist.

      Russia holds a presidential election in 2018 and the Kremlin candidate – widely expected to be Putin – will need to win over voters despite the tough economic situation.

      In the past few months, Putin has been taking an unusually tough line on errant bureaucrats.

      Several senior officials have been fired. Last week, prosecutors charged Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev with accepting a $2 million bribe. His lawyer said he denied the charges.

      Asked by reporters after Wednesday’s meeting about what rank of public servants would be affected by his ruling about moonlighting officials, Putin declined to give details but said: “I want there to be some discipline” in state bodies.

    • redskylite Says:

      Cheeky V – “paranoid and alarmist” indeed, all I’ve done is included a link from the respected American Association for the Advancement of Science’s science mag. When a country’s president needs to micromanage an illustrious science body there is something very very wrong. I used to think the “Dumb Old Guy” was a bit harsh on you – now I think he is a clear thinker. Quit with all the propaganda will you.

  3. redskylite Says:

    It’s a monster problem – today Ukraine Energy and worldwide businesses attacked by criminals.

    Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber-attack.

    British advertising agency WPP is among those to say its IT systems have been disrupted as a consequence.

    The virus, the source of which is not yet known, freezes the user’s computer until an untraceable ransom is paid in the digital Bitcoin currency.

    Ukrainian firms, including the state power company and Kiev’s main airport, were among the first to report issues.

    • vierotchka Says:

      The country which was most massively attacked and hit by this virus was Russia – a fact you conveniently left out!

      • redskylite Says:

        Again all I have done is included a link from the conventional and moderate BBC, you are well over the top , whoever you are. Quit the propaganda and insults and talk sense.

        • vierotchka Says:

          The BBC conventional and moderate? You’ve got to be joking! LOL! The BBC is one of the biggest conveyors of fake news and mendacious propaganda – it has been that ever since Andrew Gilligan left the BBC after it produced sexed-up and mendacious dossiers about the alleged WMDs in Iraq – Blair had the board of directors completely changed to suit his agenda.

          • redskylite Says:

            Well the BBC are not perfect by any means, but they are criticized from both the Conservative right (including Donald Trump) for being too liberal and “PC” and are also criticized from the left for being too pro-establishment and stuffy.
            On Climate science and technical matters, for an English language based outlet they are reasonable, you of course have the right to disagree.

            I am in agreement with Ricky Rood from Weather Underground on where to avoid fake news. I usually read a variety of media each morning to confirm an article on climate science, before including as a link. I also to read from (English) media from different continents, e.g (South China Morning Post (Hong Kong and mainland China news), Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), New Zealand Herald (NZ), Hindu Times and Times of India, Siberian Times, and many others to try and get a balanced view.

            This article from Ricky includes a table of news sources left right and centre, which I concur with.

            You of course may have your own favourite sources in English and the other languages that you understand.

            If you are interested please read Ricky’s article.

            “For this blog I will focus only on free press and the access to verifiable knowledge. I will end with a set of resources that, in my evaluation, are generally good places to get climate “news.” In my next blogs I will discuss the judiciary and the science community’s presence and organization.”


          • vierotchka Says:

            The BBC is just fine with regard to science, climate, nature, environment, etc., and produces the world’s finest documentaries – especially those by Sir David Attenborough, as well as brilliant series such as Poldark et al. But it is totally subservient to the Pentagon and the US deep state with regard to politics – that is where it publishes fake news exclusively.

        • vierotchka Says:

          New Cyberattack Goes Global, Hits WPP, Rosneft, Maersk
          June 27, 2017

          Virus attacks worst in Russia, Ukraine; spreads to U.S.

          (Note that Bloomberg isn’t pro-Russia at all)

    • redskylite Says:

      Since you want to bring all these well crafted blogs of Peter’s well off topic into your own personal agenda – how would you feel if Putin took over Deviant Art and told you what you might paint and create and what you cannot. Break your artistic spirit no doubt.

      If that happened you might truly understand, meditate on that will you Vera.

      Experts agree that turmoil in the academy, which is revered as a historic institution but has held little sway since the reforms, seems unlikely to affect scientists on the ground beyond sending a symbolic message. “This was yet another demonstration of a profound level of disrespect for the scientific community,” says Mikhail Gelfand, deputy director of the RAS Institute for Information Transmission Problems in Moscow. “The people doing science in Russia were told, once again, that no one asked for their opinion.”

      • vierotchka Says:

        Oh, and Putin would never do that to me, anyway. He’s a decent man, unlike y’all here.

      • vierotchka Says:

        Have the intellectual honesty of watching this video in full:

        Full LPAC Interview with fmr. CIA Analyst Ray McGovern

        Published on 16 Jan 2017

        On January 10, 2017, Co-Founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Ray McGovern (CIA analyst 1963-1990), sat down with LaRouchePAC’s Jason Ross to discuss claims of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections. In this 2+ hour interview, the two discuss the source of the constant Russia-baiting of the Obama Administration, the pivot to Asia, the history and corruption of the U.S. intelligence community and much, much more.

        • redskylite Says:

          You didn’t spend enough time meditating Vera, me duck . .

          here’s some soothing music to relax to.

          • vierotchka Says:

            Sweetiekins, this is the kind and length of meditation music I sometimes use, although normally my meditations don’t require music – I meditate for at least one hour twice a day. Sometimes, I’ll meditate for many hours, for which I will use this kind of music. Try it, it will do you a lot of good and might even raise you from retarded to just stupid!

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