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Telangana power utilities dodge Chinese hacking attempt, avoid Mumbai-like blackout after alert: Report

Telangana's power utilities reportedly blocked suspected IP addresses and changed user credentials of officials operating remote sites and sophisticated power grids after the hacking attempt.

March 03, 2021 / 10:32 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

An attempt to hack power systems in Telangana’s TS TRANSCO and TS GENCO, alleged by a China-based group, was averted after an alert from the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), News18 reported.

Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited (TS TRANSCO) and Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TS GENCO) are power utilities of the state.

The hackers were trying to steal data and disrupt the power supply, the report suggested. Following this incident, GENCO reportedly blocked suspected IP addresses and changed user credentials of officials operating remote sites and sophisticated power grids.

“China-based threat actor group command and control servers were trying to communicate with systems belonging to Telangana SLDC (State Load Dispatch Centre). We have directed the state power utilities to take all protection and safety measures,” TRANSCO and GENCO Chairman and Managing Director D Prabhakar Rao said.

This came days after The New York Times reported that the power blackout in Mumbai, Maharashtra in October 2020 was caused by a China-based cyber-attack. The two-hour power outage had led to the closure of the stock exchanges and the cancellation of trains across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Power supply to residential areas was also cut, before being restored in a phased manner.

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The flow of malware, which allegedly caused the Mumbai blackout, was detected by United States-based Recorded Future. The news report claimed that China-linked group RedEcho may have planted malware in key power plants in India. At least 12 IP addresses linked to 12 power generation and transmission-related organisations in India were targeted by the Chinese group, the report added.

China rejected the report saying it is highly irresponsible' to blame somebody for an incident without sufficient evidence.

Union Power Minister RK Singh had earlier said that the power outage in Mumbai was the result of human error. However, Singh said that China did attempt sabotage in November a month after the incident in Mumbai but it did not succeed.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 3, 2021 10:32 am

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