Try to hack Telangana energy system foiled

Naveen S Garewal

Today News Online Service

Hyderabad, March 3

Just as it has been established that China was behind the massive power outage in Mumbai, the Telangana Power utilities have averted what it calls “a similar attempt at hitting out on Hyderabad”.

Vigilant officials have averted a possible attempt by a China-based group to hack the state’s power systems, officials told local media.

States Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) that had put the state on an alert detected intrusive bids and foiled the attempt from China. “We noticed some malware after which immediate corrective measures were put in place,” the official was reported as saying.

A spokesperson of the CERT-In, according to media reports, said the state’s system was being monitored closely any suspicious software or malware intrusion is immediately neutralised. CERT-In official said some servers in China were trying to communicate with systems belonging to Telangana State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) and TS Transco (Transmission Corporation of Telangana Ltd).

But due to the high alert after the Mumbai incident, the systems are very vigilant. As an immediate reaction, the CERT-In temporarily disabled the control function for remote operation of circuit breakers.

User credentials for all those accessing TSSLDC website were changed and suspected equipment within the perimeter of the SCADA (process control system) the control centre was isolated to ensure the safety of the grid and satisfactory power supply to all consumers of the state, the officials told some local media.

The official said not just Telangana, but other states should remain careful during the coming days.

Earlier, a study by US-based Recorded Future had said that Chinese malware was flowing into systems that manage power supply across India.

In October, the Chinese malware tried to introduce malware into the Indian Power Supply System that could have resulted in a massive power outage in Mumbai in October, which stopped trains and shut down hospitals and the stock exchange for hours.

This flow of malware into the Mumbai system was detected by Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based company that analyses online digital threats.

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