‘When power went out…’: Maharashtra minister Raut on outage in Mumbai
Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut on Monday reminded that he had expressed the possibility that a ‘sabotage’ was behind last October’s power outage in Mumbai, after reports emerged that a Chinese government-linked hackers’ group had targeted India’s critical power grid system. The minister further said that according to him, media reports about possible involvement of China-backed Red Echo group ‘are true.’
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“When power went out in Mumbai, I had said that there was something wrong and had constituted three committees to probe. I feel media reports that have surfaced are true. Cyber cell will submit a report on this by 6pm today to home minister Anil Deshmukh,” Raut told news agency ANI.
On October 13 last year, day after the outage which brought the country’s financial capital to a halt, the Congress leader had tweeted in Marathi: “The possibility of foul play/sabotage can’t be denied in the power outage incident of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai on October 12.” Power in these areas could be restored only after two hours, prompting Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to order an inquiry into the incident.
Raut was speaking about reports published on a study by a US company, which said that Red Echo was targeting the Indian power sector. Massachusetts-based Recorded Future, which conducted the study, detailed in it the campaign conducted by the hackers’ group against India.
Reacting to the report, the Union power ministry released a statement stating that an e-mail, dated February 12, 2021, was received about the threat posed by Red Echo through a malware called Shadow Pad. Among the actions taken, the ministry said, was blocking of all IPs and domains listed in the mail and cleaning by anti-virus of all systems in control centres.
It further said that no loss of data due to these incidents was detected, adding that prompt actions were being taken.