Ukraine Power Distro Plans $20 Million Cyber Defense System

After NotPetya and severe blackouts, Ukrenergo responds with an investment in cybersecurity.



Ukrenergo, Ukraine's state-run power distributor, will invest up to $20 million in a new cyber defense system, according to its chief executive Vsevolod Kovalchuk, reports Reuters

The Ukrainian energy industry has been a hot target for threat actors in recent years. On Dec. 23, 2015, attackers used stolen user credentials to remotely access and manipulate the industrial control systems of three regional power firms and shut down power for 225,000 customers in Western Ukraine. One year later, a power outage in Kiev Dec. 16, 2016 was also confirmed to be caused by a cyberattack, and linked to the same group of threat actors as the 2015 blackout. Ukrenergo was also a victim of the NotPetya outbreak in June 2017.

Kovalchuk told reporters in a briefing that the $20 million investment would go both to security technology and administrative action, and would be in place by 2020.

"We have developed a new concept of cybersecurity whose key goal is to make it physically impossible for external threats to affect the Ukrainian energy system," he said, reports Reuters.

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