Researchers say hackers allegedly affiliated with Russia have developed a cyber weapon capable of taking down electric grids.
The malware, dubbed CrashOverride or Industroyer, was used in December to shut down one-fifth of the electric grid in Kiev, an attack Ukranian officials blamed on Russia, according to Reuters.
U.S. Security firm Dragos and Slovakian anti-virus software maker ESET issued alerts to governments and infrastructure operators Monday to help them defend against the malware.
"The malware is really easy to repurpose and use against other targets; that is definitely alarming," ESET malware researcher Robert Lipovsky told Reuters in a telephone interview. "This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital."
Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, told The Washington Post with small modifications, the malware is capable of attacking power grids and other industrial systems, such as water and gas, across Europe and the U.S.
"It's the culmination of over a decade of theory and attack scenarios," he warned. "It's a game-changer."
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