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Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting vital infrastructures and power plants. That’s what F-Secure’s research shows. In addition, more and more systems are interconnected in the energy sector, increasing the number of vulnerabilities.

Energy companies are trying to consolidate processes in order to save costs. However, this may be at the expense of business resilience and redundancy levels. This can lead to new critical points of failure, according to F-Secure. As a result, any disruption in the supply chain has even greater consequences.

More and more industrial operating systems are also being connected to the Internet. However, the systems for managing the vital infrastructures were developed before everything became constantly connected to the Internet and malware such as Stuxnet came to light.

This is despite the fact that many operational technology has built-in possibilities for remote management, but no or too little use is made of security mechanisms such as authentication. At the time of development, cyber threats were not yet a significant risk. But now that the systems are connected to the Internet, they are exposed to various attacks.


However, the main weakness in the systems appears to be people. According to F-Secure’s research, employees are an increasingly popular target. Various groups of hackers are therefore constantly trying to penetrate the networks of managers of vital infrastructures. In addition, hackers have more time than their victims, and they spend months planning their attacks.

However, the main success of hackers is due to the lack of mature security practices within organizations. Furthermore, state hackers use advanced persistent threats (APTs) to remain unnoticed within the networks of administrators of vital infrastructures for a long time. They do this for politically motivated cyber espionage.

Nine groups of hackers and malware variants have also specifically targeted the energy sector. They mainly use spear phishing to attack supply chains.


To protect organizations, there are several advices. First of all, it is recommended to minimize the attack surface. However, this is not feasible in the energy sector, says F-Secure. For this reason, the company advises organisations in the energy sector to review their security measures and use endpoint detection & response (EDR) solutions, among other things.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.