Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, European wind energy companies have reportedly been targeted by hackers – or cyberattacked on their suppliers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that both Nordex SE and Deutsche Windtechnik AG have reported cyber incidents in recent months. A third German company, Enercon GmbH, announced this diary it was “collateral damage” when Viasat was hacked early in the invasion.
The difficulty of the hacks varies. Nordex SE had to shut down its IT systems; Deutsche Windtechnik AG was unable to remotely control around 2,000 turbines for at least one day; and Enercon GmbH lost remote access to around 5,800 turbines as a result of the Viasat hack.
The notorious Conti ransomware gang reportedly claimed responsibility for the Nordex SE hack in March; that diary says security researchers are currently investigating the possibility that it was also involved in the April hack of Deutsche Windtechnik AG.
Nordlocker said in October 2021 that Conti was responsible for at least 450 ransomware attacks since the beginning of 2020. The group said it plans to support Russia after its invasion of Ukraine – which led to the release of internal chats and source codes almost immediately.
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Germany currently imports oil from Russia but wants to switch to renewable energy sources such as wind farms, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on April 8 that the country may be able to stop importing fossil fuels from Russia as early as the end of the year.
So it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Conti specifically targeted these German companies because they could help the country wean itself off Russian oil sooner or later. Or maybe it’s just looking for lucrative targets.
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