INDIA: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, RK Singh on Tuesday said that the blackout that occurred in Mumbai on October 12 was due to “human error,” and was not a result of a cyber-attack.
The denial came to light after reports of a suggested link between the power outage in the city and a Chinese state-sponsored threat actor group known as Red Echo, which had been targeting India’s power infrastructure using malware.
According to the minister, the power grid failure that led to the electricity supply to the city being shut down for several hours has been investigated by two separate teams. Some parts had faced a power cut for nearly 24 hours. The first team of experts had investigated the outage soon after it had occurred, later the second team was sent to check for the possibility of a cyber-attack.
Singh said that both teams found the incident to be the result of human error. The cause of the outage was reported to be ‘scheduling errors.’
Cyber attack attempts on the country’s Northern and Southern Regional Load Despatch Centres have been acknowledged by Singh. He added that attempts to attack Mumbai’s power system had also been made.
While some said that the group behind the malware was Chinese, the government denied the claims as there wasn’t any evidence to confirm it. He added that China would deny that the group was sponsored by them. Singh said that it was not possible to blame a specific country for the attack attempts.
The news on the Mumbai blackout saw a resurge on Sunday. Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company, published a report stating a rise in the use of resources like malware by a Chinese state-sponsored group called Red Echo to target India’s power sector. New York Times also reported the contents of the study last Sunday. The report suggested a link between the Galwan clash of June 2020 and the grid disturbance in Mumbai.