A major cyberattack on Australia has been uncovered with Chinese hackers behind a potentially disastrous attempt.
Millions of homes were just moments away from losing power after a ransomware attack on a large energy network believed to have been the work of Chinese hackers.
CS Energy was hit by the attack on Saturday, November 27, which the chief executive described as worrying, a “growing trend”.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the attack was called off at the last minute before two major thermal coal plants had the potential to be shut down.
Had the attack been successful, 3500 MW of electricity would have been taken out of the grid, which would have been enough for 14 to 3 million homes.
CS Energy CEO Andrew Biles said the company acted swiftly to isolate the corporate network from the Colloid and Coogan Creek power stations, to avoid generator effects.
Federal and state agencies were approached as were cybersecurity experts.
Mr Biles said the focus is now on restoring the security of the network and supporting employees, customers and business partners with any questions they may have.
“CS Energy moved quickly to prevent this phenomenon by isolating the corporate network from other internal networks and implementing business continuity processes,” Mr. Biles said.
“We immediately notified relevant state and federal agencies, and are working closely with them and other cybersecurity experts.
“Unfortunately, cyber incidents are on the rise in Australia and overseas. This incident may have affected our corporate network, but we are fortunate to have a resilient and highly skilled workforce that helps CS Energy continue to power Queenslanders Focusing on keeping.
After a separate cyberattack earlier this year, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said cyber security was her “number one priority”.
“We are doing everything we can to protect Australians and Australian businesses, but understand this is a two-way street,” she said in July.
“Businesses need to make sure they have reasonable measures in place to keep themselves and their data – which is critically important – cyber-secure.
“We are very aware that many countries, including China, have significantly increased their cyber capability. Australia is also increasing its legitimate and legitimate cyber activity.”