Cyber risk presents a “unique concern” in the energy sector because an attack on energy infrastructure has the potential “to cross from the cyber realm to the physical world”, says a new report by The World Energy Council. The report – titled The road to resilience: Managing cyber risks – says a cyber-attack could cause, for instance, a “massive operational failure of an energy asset”. “Large centralised infrastructures are especially at risk due to the potential ‘domino effect’ damage that an attack on a nuclear, coal, or oil plant could cause,” according to the report. It gives two examples of cyber-attacks on the nuclear power industry – ‘Slammer’ in the USA in 2003 and hacking in South Korea in 2014-2015. The fastest computer worm in history, Slammer infected the computer systems at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor, Ohio, disabling a safety monitoring system for five hours. The reactor had been offline for nearly a year before its Slammer infection. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company suffered a series of hacking attacks aimed at causing nuclear reactors to malfunction, the report says. The attacks only succeeded in leaking non-classified documents, it added.
World Nuclear News 5th Oct 2016 read more »