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Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:45

Russian hackers will turn off electricity

Written by Nick Farrell

Not a repeat from the cold war

A group of Russian hackers known as Energetic Bear are apparently targeting hundreds of Western energy companies with malware that could disrupt power supplies. The attacks appear to be industrial espionage, but the software also allows the hackers to seize control of control systems from Mother Russia and turn the power off.

Researchers at CrowdStrike said the attacks have affected more than 1,000 organisations in more than 84 countries, according to, and were first discovered in August 2012. Now computer security company Symantec has revealed that the hacking group – which it nicknames Dragonfly - has remote-control capability over some power systems.

A statement from Symantec said: "Among the targets of Dragonfly were energy grid operators, major electricity generation firms, petroleum pipeline operators, and energy industry industrial equipment providers.

"The majority of the victims were located in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Poland."

Nick Farrell

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