Pakistan hit by nationwide power outage, is it the result of a cyber attack?

Pakistan suffered a nationwide blackout, local authorities are investigating the cause and suspect it was the result of a cyberattack.

On Monday, a nationwide blackout in Pakistan left millions of people in the darkness, and the authorities are investigating if it was caused by a cyberattack. The power outage impacted all the major cities in Pakistan.

The good news is that authorities were able to restore power across Pakistan within 24 hours.

“Pakistan‘s energy minister said on Tuesday there was a “remote chance” that hackers could be behind a grid failure that led to two days of nationwide blackout.” reported the Independent. “Khurram Dastgir told the media that the country’s power supply has been restored.”

Cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, such as power grids, are very dangerous. Some of the most clamorous attacks clamorous attacks observed in the past hit Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif established a pool tacked on the investigation into the incident.

On behalf of my government, I would like to express my sincere regrets for the inconvenience our citizens suffered due to power outage yesterday. On my orders an inquiry is underway to determine reasons of the power failure. Responsibility will be fixed.— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) January 24, 2023The energy minister worned of other “power outages” that could happen in the next days, because nuclear and coal power plants in the country are still facing problems and are not yet fully recovered.

According to the media, some power generation units had been intentionally and temporarily turned off on Sunday night to save energy expenditure, a common procedure in the winter, but operators were not able to to turn on again them on Monday morning. The investigators have to shed light on the problems that occurred on Monday morning.

“When the systems were turned on at 7:30am one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu. There was a fluctuation in voltage and power generating units were shut down one by one due to cascading impact,” Dastgir Khan explained.

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[adrotate banner=”9″][adrotate banner=”12″]Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Pakistan)

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