Further investigations are needed to find out in which country the virus attack originated, said the minister.(AFP File Photo)
Further investigations are needed to find out in which country the virus attack originated, said the minister.(AFP File Photo)

Maharashtra cyber police suspects cyber attack behind Mumbai power outage

  • Cyber police report says some 14 trojan horses - a virus often disguised as a legitimate software- may have been introduced in the server of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) last October when power failure crippled Mumbai for more than two hours.
By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:45 AM IST

The Maharashtra government on Monday said that a preliminary report of the cyber cell of the Maharashtra police also suspected cyber-attack as a reason behind power outage in Mumbai in October last year. State home minister Anil Deshmukh said the findings of the report indicated cyber sabotage by some foreign countries. However, more details will come only after further investigation.

Some 14 trojan horses (a virus often disguised as a legitimate software) may have been introduced in the server of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), data of around 8GB may have transferred from unaccounted foreign servers, similarly, login may have been made by blacklisted IP (internet protocol) addresses in the MSEB server, says the findings of cyber police, following the analysis of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks,” Deshmukh told reporters at Sahyadri guest house on Monday. SCADA is a common framework of control systems used in industrial operations.

“This is a preliminary report and we don’t know which of the countries are involved in it. More details will come following further investigation,” he added.

Deshmukh shared the findings following the findings of a report conducted by a US- based firm Recorded Future that has indicated a Chinese cyber-attack behind power outage in Mumbai, according to news reports published by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Also Watch: After Chinese hand claim by US firm, govt reveals prelim report on Mumbai blackout

The home minister also submitted the report of the cyber cell to the state energy minister Nitin Raut. Raut said he had then suspected the possibility of a sabotage. “Following the outage, I had suspected sabotage then. I have also received probe reports of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and the Centre on the matter but cannot share the details as the budget session of the state legislature is going on,” he said.

A grid failure resulted in massive power outages in Mumbai and its suburban areas on October 12, stopping trains on tracks, hampering those working from home and hitting the stuttering economic activity hard. It took two hours for the power supply to resume for essential services; other pockets started getting power in a phase-wise manner.

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