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No Chinese attack behind Mumbai blackout: Power minister

By Amit Kumar
Last updated on: March 02, 2021 17:50 IST
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Union Power Minister R K Singh on Tuesday said the Mumbai power outage of October 2020 was caused by 'human error' and there is no evidence to prove that it was triggered by a cyber attack from China.

IMAGE: Traffic lights shut down after a grid failure resulted in massive power outages across Mumbai in October 2020. Photograph: PTI Photo
 

Speaking to ANI, Singh said, "Two teams investigated the power outage and reported that the outage was caused by human error and not due to cyber attack. One of the teams submitted that cyber attacks did happen, but they were not linked to the Mumbai grid failure."

"The cyber attacks happened on our northern and southern region load dispatch centres. However, the malware could not reach our operating system. The Maharashtra home minister has informed that cyber-attacks happened on their Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system in Mumbai," Singh added.

There is no evidence to say that the cyber attacks were carried out whether by China or Pakistan, Singh stated.

"Some people say the group behind the attacks is Chinese, but we don't have evidence. China will definitely deny it," Singh said.

"We are already alert about this. Our transmission system can be shut out by a cyber attack. We had set up a committee concerning this two years ago and received recommendations from the committee," the minister explained.

"We were cautious before and will be cautious in the future because this danger has not yet gone," Singh, who served as Union home secretary before he joined politics, added.

Singh's remark follows a statement issued by the Inion power ministry on Monday which said there was no impact on Power System Operation Corporation operations due to any malware attack.

A report by a United States-based cybersecurity firm claimed that Chinese State-sponsored groups had targeted the power sector in India with malware.

This came months after the clash between troops of the two nations in the Galwan valley in Ladakh June 2020.

On Monday, Maharashtra Home =Minister Anil Deshmukh said according to a preliminary report, the massive blackout on October 12 last year was an attempt at 'cyber-sabotage'.

A report of the incident prepared on the basis of an investigation by Maharashtra's cyber police department was handed over to state Energy Minister Nitin Raut.

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Amit Kumar
Source: ANI
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