U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

#21
Uruguay, Urals, what's the difference.
There is Russian saying - beat friends to threaten enemies.
But as for the blackouts in Latin America (except Venezuela) then it is likely coincidence.
As for the article then alas previously serious edition The NYT is becoming The Daily Mail style fake news producer.
I reckon that the article is a result of internal American political tug-of-war intended to spoil informational background before G20 where pres.Trump will meet with pres.Putin. The authors of the article suggest that pres.Trump is not real decision maker, that he is not well informed about some very serious issues. And thus negotiations with him are pointless for this reason.

Likely I'm the most informed person on this site in respect to the structure of Russian power grids. I worked in Nizhnevartivsk power grids (West Siberia) during 11 years that included 4 substations 500kV, about 20 substations 220kV and about 150 substations 110kV. As a programmer I contributed to creating of local system of control and monitoring.
Later working in different enginering companies I worked closely with Russian software firm that developed (and still is developing) software for upper level control systems in power energetics.
In my opinion external intervention in control operations in power grid system in Russia is in fact impossible.
For specialists the allegations made in the article are laughable fantasies written by people absolutely ignorant in power energetics (at least Russian one).
Famous Mark Twain's "How I edited an agricultural paper" springs in mind.
 
#23
Just curious tourists doing some online research comrade. Leningrad II Reactor #1 is famous throughout the whole world for its 1085MW net capacity. All my friends are desperate to see it.
Highly likely, your friends would soon found themselves in ecologically pure resort in Northern Siberia surrounded by endless forests with wild animals. But don't worry. The walls with barbed wire and control towers along with friendly guards and nice dogs would protect them.
Btw, the last August I visited the power plant near Sankt-Peterburg - instructed local personnel how to handle Israeli made power measurement equipment. As for the reactor. You would see just a huge building without windows - that's all. The evil is in the details and unlikely you would be allowed to be informed about the details.
 
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#24
Highly likely, your friends would soon found themselves in ecologically pure resort in Northern Siberia surrounded by endless forests with wild animals. But don't worry. The walls with barbed wire and control towers along with friendly guards and nice dogs would protect them.
Btw, the last August I visited the power plant near Sankt-Peterburg - instructed local personnel how to handle Israeli made power measurement equipment. As for the reactor. You would see just a huge building without windows - that's all. The evil is in the details and unlikely you would be allowed to be informed about the details.
I'm not actually going to visit, much less blow up, your nuclear power plant.

You thick tedious ex commie troll. :)
 
#26
here is Russian saying - beat friends to threaten enemies.
But as for the blackouts in Latin America (except Venezuela) then it is likely coincidence.
As for the article then alas previously serious edition The NYT is becoming The Daily Mail style fake news producer.
I reckon that the article is a result of internal American political tug-of-war intended to spoil informational background before G20 where pres.Trump will meet with pres.Putin. The authors of the article suggest that pres.Trump is not real decision maker, that he is not well informed about some very serious issues. And thus negotiations with him are pointless for this reason.

Nice bit of back peddling there Sergey old son.
 
#27
(...) As for the article then alas previously serious edition The NYT is becoming The Daily Mail style fake news producer.
I reckon that the article is a result of internal American political tug-of-war intended to spoil informational background before G20 where pres.Trump will meet with pres.Putin. The authors of the article suggest that pres.Trump is not real decision maker, that he is not well informed about some very serious issues. And thus negotiations with him are pointless for this reason.
The story is based on information from Bolton, so I would take it with a very large grain of salt.

I agree that this is a political story, but I think it is related to the American elections next year rather than the G20 meeting. The standard US opposition line is that Trump is a puppet of Putin, that Trump only won the previous election because Russia rigged it, and that the Russians are preparing to rig the next election in 2020 in Trump's favour again.

The "Russia rigged the American election" line is so prevalent that the governing party feel a need to counter it, and saying that they have taken "firm measures" to prevent it are part of the media message opposing that narrative.

As to why they used the New York Times to put this story out, it is a common government media tactic in the US to provide "exclusive" stories to selected media outlets for things they want printed without a lot of checking applied to them. Even if the stories are discredited later, the story has been put out there and far fewer people will see the retraction than saw the original story.

You may recall the Supermicro story a few months ago, published as part of the US government anti-China media operations. This had a very similar story background, originating amongst "anonymous sources in US intelligence" and put out as an exclusive through Bloomberg. Once the IT technical press dug into it the story was discredited and Bloomberg became a laughing stock amongst technical professionals. However, the original story was what the mass media reported on while the counters to it remained in the technical press.

The following is a rather interesting "Russian hackers infiltrate US electric power networks" story from 2017. What is interesting is that they dig into the background of a big Washington Post story on this and show how the story was gradually dialled back from drama to farce without the newspaper admitting they had changed anything. This was also a story which was fed to a selected media outlet by anonymous US government officials. In the course of time the story changed from the Russians had taken control of an major part of the US electrical grid to one of their employees got a normal virus on his laptop, a laptop that wasn't connected to the grid control in any way. The newspaper conducted a 1984 style rewriting of the history rather than admit they had been used by US officials to put out a false story.
'Fake News' And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
From Russian hackers burrowed deep within the US electrical grid, ready to plunge the nation into darkness at the flip of a switch, an hour and a half later the story suddenly became that a single non-grid laptop had a piece of malware on it and that the laptop was not connected to the utility grid in any way.
The title of the story however remained effectively the same. Studies of the spread of fake news through social media have shown that in the majority of cases stories are shared on the basis of the title without the sharer actually reading the story, and so the title becomes the story.

Because of this history of false stories being fed to the American media by the US government I tend to be very sceptical of news stories whose main source is anonymous US officials or "sources in the US intelligence community". These stories are very often plants and false.

Likely I'm the most informed person on this site in respect to the structure of Russian power grids. I worked in Nizhnevartivsk power grids (West Siberia) during 11 years that included 4 substations 500kV, about 20 substations 220kV and about 150 substations 110kV. As a programmer I contributed to creating of local system of control and monitoring.
Later working in different enginering companies I worked closely with Russian software firm that developed (and still is developing) software for upper level control systems in power energetics.
In my opinion external intervention in control operations in power grid system in Russia is in fact impossible.
For specialists the allegations made in the article are laughable fantasies written by people absolutely ignorant in power energetics (at least Russian one).
Famous Mark Twain's "How I edited an agricultural paper" springs in mind.
I would be interested in hearing why you think that the power grid in Russian cannot be "hacked".
 
#28
There is Russian saying - beat friends to threaten enemies.
But as for the blackouts in Latin America (except Venezuela) then it is likely coincidence.
As for the article then alas previously serious edition The NYT is becoming The Daily Mail style fake news producer.
I reckon that the article is a result of internal American political tug-of-war intended to spoil informational background before G20 where pres.Trump will meet with pres.Putin. The authors of the article suggest that pres.Trump is not real decision maker, that he is not well informed about some very serious issues. And thus negotiations with him are pointless for this reason.

Likely I'm the most informed person on this site in respect to the structure of Russian power grids. I worked in Nizhnevartivsk power grids (West Siberia) during 11 years that included 4 substations 500kV, about 20 substations 220kV and about 150 substations 110kV. As a programmer I contributed to creating of local system of control and monitoring.
Later working in different enginering companies I worked closely with Russian software firm that developed (and still is developing) software for upper level control systems in power energetics.
In my opinion external intervention in control operations in power grid system in Russia is in fact impossible.
For specialists the allegations made in the article are laughable fantasies written by people absolutely ignorant in power energetics (at least Russian one).
Famous Mark Twain's "How I edited an agricultural paper" springs in mind.
Are you Viktor Brukhanov?
 
#29
The story is based on information from Bolton, so I would take it with a very large grain of salt.

I agree that this is a political story, but I think it is related to the American elections next year rather than the G20 meeting. The standard US opposition line is that Trump is a puppet of Putin, that Trump only won the previous election because Russia rigged it, and that the Russians are preparing to rig the next election in 2020 in Trump's favour again.

The "Russia rigged the American election" line is so prevalent that the governing party feel a need to counter it, and saying that they have taken "firm measures" to prevent it are part of the media message opposing that narrative.

As to why they used the New York Times to put this story out, it is a common government media tactic in the US to provide "exclusive" stories to selected media outlets for things they want printed without a lot of checking applied to them. Even if the stories are discredited later, the story has been put out there and far fewer people will see the retraction than saw the original story.

You may recall the Supermicro story a few months ago, published as part of the US government anti-China media operations. This had a very similar story background, originating amongst "anonymous sources in US intelligence" and put out as an exclusive through Bloomberg. Once the IT technical press dug into it the story was discredited and Bloomberg became a laughing stock amongst technical professionals. However, the original story was what the mass media reported on while the counters to it remained in the technical press.

The following is a rather interesting "Russian hackers infiltrate US electric power networks" story from 2017. What is interesting is that they dig into the background of a big Washington Post story on this and show how the story was gradually dialled back from drama to farce without the newspaper admitting they had changed anything. This was also a story which was fed to a selected media outlet by anonymous US government officials. In the course of time the story changed from the Russians had taken control of an major part of the US electrical grid to one of their employees got a normal virus on his laptop, a laptop that wasn't connected to the grid control in any way. The newspaper conducted a 1984 style rewriting of the history rather than admit they had been used by US officials to put out a false story.
'Fake News' And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid


The title of the story however remained effectively the same. Studies of the spread of fake news through social media have shown that in the majority of cases stories are shared on the basis of the title without the sharer actually reading the story, and so the title becomes the story.

Because of this history of false stories being fed to the American media by the US government I tend to be very sceptical of news stories whose main source is anonymous US officials or "sources in the US intelligence community". These stories are very often plants and false.
It is an interesting version. So you suggest that the article in the NYT was instigation by Trump's men. But why he 'was not briefed' about so important issue? It presents pres.Trump as not real decision maker. And how do you explain Trump's reaction to the article?
Trump calls newspaper report on Russia power grid 'treason'
President Donald Trump has lashed out at The New York Times, saying it engaged in a “virtual act of treason” for a story that said the U.S. was ramping up its cyber-intrusions into Russia’s power grid.
In a pair of tweets sent Saturday night, Trump asserted the story wasn’t true and denounced reporters as “cowards.”
“Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country,” he wrote.
In a second tweet, Trump added about the story: “ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
I would be interested in hearing why you think that the power grid in Russian cannot be "hacked".
80% of relay automation equipment that still function in Russia has simple and reliable desing developed in 70-80's. Electro-mechanical relay system can not be hacked becase its adjastment is possible only manually. As for microprocessor based relay systems then in most cases their adjustment is possible only on the spot. Access to them via internet in many cases is strictly forbidden and sometimes even phisically impossible.
Another very effective measure is separation of local networks. On such an object as nuclear power plant there is common local network where limited access to internet is possible. But such a network is separated from protected technological network and it in turn is separated from network that serves to control the reactor.
Security measures on nuclear power plant are draconial (it is Soviet legacy). Even local personnel entering protected zone (moreover reactor zone) have to show the gaurds all equipment that is being carried in both directions (with description, serial numbers and so on). Mobile phones, routers, flash sticks are strictly forbidden. Even local personnel (and moreover guests as me) have to undress and use only standard clothes including rubber boots.
Telecontrol operations are not widely being used in Russian power grids. The idea is to eliminate mistakes due to human factor. But as a side effect it is impossible to switch power line on or off via internet or virus in software even in theory. Only local personnel manually can do it.
Also it should be noted that there is a lot of software and hardware systems in Russia that are locally (in Russia) designed and used only in electro energetics. Have you heard about SK-2007 SCADA system? I'm sure that no. But it is the main control system in Russian Federal power grids. Hardly it is possible to hack software system if you don't know anything about its structure, entry points, if documentation is not available, if you are unable to install the software to test methods of hacking.
 
#30
It is an interesting version. So you suggest that the article in the NYT was instigation by Trump's men. But why he 'was not briefed' about so important issue? It presents pres.Trump as not real decision maker. And how do you explain Trump's reaction to the article?
Trump calls newspaper report on Russia power grid 'treason'




80% of relay automation equipment that still function in Russia has simple and reliable desing developed in 70-80's. Electro-mechanical relay system can not be hacked becase its adjastment is possible only manually. As for microprocessor based relay systems then in most cases their adjustment is possible only on the spot. Access to them via internet in many cases is strictly forbidden and sometimes even phisically impossible.
Another very effective measure is separation of local networks. On such an object as nuclear power plant there is common local network where limited access to internet is possible. But such a network is separated from protected technological network and it in turn is separated from network that serves to control the reactor.
Security measures on nuclear power plant are draconial (it is Soviet legacy). Even local personnel entering protected zone (moreover reactor zone) have to show the gaurds all equipment that is being carried in both directions (with description, serial numbers and so on). Mobile phones, routers, flash sticks are strictly forbidden. Even local personnel (and moreover guests as me) have to undress and use only standard clothes including rubber boots.
Telecontrol operations are not widely being used in Russian power grids. The idea is to eliminate mistakes due to human factor. But as a side effect it is impossible to switch power line on or off via internet or virus in software even in theory. Only local personnel manually can do it.
Also it should be noted that there is a lot of software and hardware systems in Russia that are locally (in Russia) designed and used only in electro energetics. Have you heard about SK-2007 SCADA system? I'm sure that no. But it is the main control system in Russian Federal power grids. Hardly it is possible to hack software system if you don't know anything about its structure, entry points, if documentation is not available, if you are unable to install the software to test methods of hacking.
You could have summed this up in one word - antiquated.
 
#31
It is an interesting version. So you suggest that the article in the NYT was instigation by Trump's men. But why he 'was not briefed' about so important issue?
Because it may not be real, and if they told him it wasn't real he might blurt it out in public that it wasn't real.

It presents pres.Trump as not real decision maker.
There is no real "decision" to be made if it's just a story being fed to the press to take some of the heat off the White House ahead of the elections next year.


When he hears something he doesn't like he denies everything and looks for someone to blame. In this case what he was likely reacting to was the report that he wasn't told because his staff don't trust him.

80% of relay automation equipment that still function in Russia has simple and reliable desing developed in 70-80's. Electro-mechanical relay system can not be hacked becase its adjastment is possible only manually. As for microprocessor based relay systems then in most cases their adjustment is possible only on the spot. Access to them via internet in many cases is strictly forbidden and sometimes even phisically impossible.
Another very effective measure is separation of local networks. On such an object as nuclear power plant there is common local network where limited access to internet is possible. But such a network is separated from protected technological network and it in turn is separated from network that serves to control the reactor.
Security measures on nuclear power plant are draconial (it is Soviet legacy). Even local personnel entering protected zone (moreover reactor zone) have to show the gaurds all equipment that is being carried in both directions (with description, serial numbers and so on). Mobile phones, routers, flash sticks are strictly forbidden. Even local personnel (and moreover guests as me) have to undress and use only standard clothes including rubber boots.
Telecontrol operations are not widely being used in Russian power grids. The idea is to eliminate mistakes due to human factor. But as a side effect it is impossible to switch power line on or off via internet or virus in software even in theory. Only local personnel manually can do it.
Also it should be noted that there is a lot of software and hardware systems in Russia that are locally (in Russia) designed and used only in electro energetics. Have you heard about SK-2007 SCADA system? I'm sure that no. But it is the main control system in Russian Federal power grids. Hardly it is possible to hack software system if you don't know anything about its structure, entry points, if documentation is not available, if you are unable to install the software to test methods of hacking.
You don't need direct Internet access, you can infect an engineer's laptop with a virus and when he plugs into an isolated network to change a PLC program or something like that, it can then hop to a SCADA system and operate from there. Stuxnet is a good example of that.

Older and more manual systems are indeed much more difficult to "hack" however, as there simply aren't the same type of programmable systems to infect.

As another aside, there was a common story which went around during the 1980s which said that the Americans had hacked the computerised control system in a natural gas pipeline in Siberia and caused the pipeline to explode. Allegedly the fire could be seen from space. A good many people with a technical background were sceptical of the claim, but those repeating it swore it was true. You may still see the story cropping up from time to time today.

After the fall of the Soviet Union there was more contact with people in Russia who had engineering backgrounds and a familiarity with the gas industry. They said they knew nothing of any such explosion. What is more, they said the computerised control system could not have been "hacked" because the pipeline was not computerised in those days, it was all pneumatic and relay controllers.
 
#32
I am annoyed about the US Government hacking the Russian power grid. Really annoyed.

What the hell are GCHQ playing at? Why have we let the yanks take the lead on this one? Why aren't WE plunging the Russian mongs into cold, desperate, dreary darkness?

What the hell are GCHQ doing with my tax money?
 
#33
I am annoyed about the US Government hacking the Russian power grid. Really annoyed.

What the hell are GCHQ playing at? Why have we let the yanks take the lead on this one? Why aren't WE plunging the Russian mongs into cold, desperate, dreary darkness?

What the hell are GCHQ doing with my tax money?
Prob playing PUBG!
 

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