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UK Energy Sector Fears Attack within Next 12 Months

UK Energy Sector Fears Attack within Next 12 Months - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Stephen Tolbert, SRA International
UK Energy Sector Fears Attack within Next 12 Months - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Image: lockheedmartin.com

Energy firms in the U.K. believe a major cyber attack against the grid will be launched in the next 12 months, but are not taking action implementing stronger cybersecurity or other defensive measures, according to a new survey.

Conducted by D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, on behalf of McAfee, the survey polled critical infrastructure executives around the world and found that more than 40 percent said they expect an attack on electricity or gas supplies to cause either supply outage of at least 24 hours, loss of life, or destroy a company in the next year, according to The Telegraph.

Despite these concerns, U.K. suppliers have been moving forward with plans for millions of “smart meters” in British homes, which will allow them to manage demand, monitor consumption and remotely cut off nonpaying customers remotely.

The survey also revealed that 80 percent of firms have suffered major Denial-of-Service attacks in the last year. Energy security experts surveyed said they were also concerned by the emergence of the Stuxnet virus, which made its way around the world, striking five targets in Iran and at least one institution in Finland.

Espionage is also a major threat to critical infrastructure firms, the survey noted, with 85 percent of respondents saying their network was hacked in the last year. McAfee recently released a report revealing how large-scale cyber attacks dubbed “Night Dragon” were launched against several global oil, energy and petrochemical companies, targeting proprietary operations and project-financing information on oil and gas field bids and operations.

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