Australian electricity provider CS Energy has been hit by a ransomware attack, but the electricity generation has not been affected. The attack was discovered on November 27 and the company informed the public about the incident a few days later.
Queensland-based CS Energy, which is owned by the local government, provides electricity to millions of homes, as well as to large commercial and industrial customers in Queensland. CS Energy said the ransomware compromised devices on its corporate network, which was quickly isolated from other internal networks to prevent the malware from spreading. Safety and operations at its Kogan Creek and Callide power stations were not impacted, nor was power generation and delivery.
The company is working on restoring affected systems and noted that “Australia’s National Electricity Market is designed to ensure there is enough power generation and network capacity to securely meet customer demand, even in the event of unexpected outages of transmission lines and generators.”
The attack on the energy firm has been linked to Chinese state-sponsored hackers, it appears that the attack involved the well-known Conti ransomware, whose operators not only encrypt files on compromised systems, but also steal valuable data to convince the victim to pay a ransom.
Conti operators run a website where they leak the data of victims that refuse to pay up. CS Energy has been listed on that site since November 27, but the cybercriminals have yet to make public any files associated with the energy company.