Mumbai power outage human error, not Chinese cyber attack: Power Min

Mumbai power outage human error, not Chinese cyber attack: Power Min
R K Singh
NEW DELHI, MAR 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/2/2021 12:39:56 PM IST

Refuting a report claiming that the massive power outage in Mumbai last year was result of a Chinese cyber attack, Union Power Minister R K Singh on Tuesday said that the investigation into the incident found that it was caused by human error.

“Two teams investigated the power outage and submitted that the outage was caused by human error & not due to cyber attack. One of the teams submitted that cyber attack did happen but they were not linked to the Mumbai grid failure,” Singh said.  

He further said that cyber attacks took place on the northern and southern region load dispatch centres but they (malware) “could not reach our operating system”.

“We don’t have evidence to say that the cyber-attacks were carried out by China or Pakistan. Some people say that the group behind the attacks is Chinese but we don’t have evidence. China will definitely deny it,” the Union minister added. 

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that cyber attacks take place across the country, and not just in Mumbai, adding that the matter should not be politicised. 

The comments from Singh and Deshmukh came in the wake of a US company’s report claiming that amidst the border tension in Ladakh last year, a Chinese government-linked group of hackers targeted India’s critical power grid system through a malware.

The report raised suspicion whether the massive power outage in the financial capital was a result of the online intrusion.

Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based company which studies the use of the internet by state actors, in its recent report details the campaign conducted by a China-linked threat activity group RedEcho targeting the Indian power sector. The activity was identified through a combination of large-scale automated network traffic analytics and expert analysis.

On October 12, a grid failure in Mumbai resulted in a massive power outage, stopping trains on tracks, hampering those working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and hitting the economic activity hard.

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