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Electric Grids Down in Argentina and Uruguay

Published: June 16, 2019
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Source: cryptogon

In other news:

U.S. Ramps Up Online Attacks on Russian Power Grid, NYT Says:

The U.S. is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir Putin, the New York Times reported, citing current and former government officials.

While the U.S. has probed the Russian grid since at least 2012 and there’s no evidence it has turned off power, the Trump administration’s strategy has shifted more toward offense with the deployment of U.S. computer code inside the grid and other targets, the newspaper said. The effort has gotten far more aggressive over the past year, the Times quoted an unidentified senior intelligence official as saying.

The administration declined to disclose specifics, according to the report. However, National Security Adviser John Bolton said publicly on Tuesday that the U.S. is taking a broader view “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price,”’ the Times said.

and…

The Russian Hackers Behind Triton Tried to Attack the U.S. Power Grid:

A hacking group linked to the Russian government has been attempting to breach the U.S. power grid, Wired reports.

The hackers have been tracked by security experts from the non-profit group the Electric Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and security firm Dragos. They warn that the hacking group has been probing the grid for weaknesses, searching for ways that they could access the systems.

Even though there are no signs that the group has succeeded in accessing the power grid, the attacks still have experts worried. And that’s partly because of the history of this particular hacking group: Xenotime, who created the infamous Triton malware. Triton attacked critical infrastructure like industrial control systems which are often used in power plants, and could have been used to cause massive destruction through tampering with power plant controls. That lead it to be labeled the “world’s most murderous malware.”

And now two entire countries just had their grids fail.

I wonder if this is blowback.

Via: BBC:

A massive electrical failure has left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, according to a major Argentine electricity provider.

Reports said the power cut had also affected parts of Brazil and Paraguay.

Argentine media said the power cut occurred shortly after 07:00 (11:00 BST), causing trains to be halted and failures with traffic signalling.

It came as people in parts of Argentina were preparing to go to the polls for local elections.

“A massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left all of Argentina and Uruguay without power,” electricity supplier company Edesur said in a tweet.

Argentina’s energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, said the cause of the power failure had not yet been determined. He said power was being restored to some parts of the country, but added that the process could take several hours.

Edesur said that power had been restored to parts of Buenos Aires.

Uruguay’s energy company, UTE, said in a tweet that power had been restored to coastal areas.

The combined population of Argentina and Uruguay is about 48 million people.

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