Squirrel Threat To Critical Infrastructure

Following the report from Cyber Squirrel 1, that suggests squirrels are a bigger threat than hackers to critical infrastructure. Edgard Capdevielle, CEO at Nozomi Networks commented below.

Edgard Capdevielle, CEO at Nozomi Networks:

edgard-capdevielle“The Cyber Squirrel 1 project, by capturing the imagination, draws attention to an important issue – that critical infrastructure is under constant threat of disruption.

“While the image of rogue squirrels storming a nuclear power plant is amusing, the scale of the threat they pose is relatively tame. According to Cyber Squirrel 1, having tracked 1,700 animal related outages, just 5million people were affected – a crude calculation puts that at almost 3,000 per outage. In contrast, if a malicious actor successfully penetrates the critical infrastructure, the scale of the devastation has the potential to be immense. An illustration is the very targeted cyber attack launched against the Ukraine in 2015, that single event affected 225,000 people.

“While a wildlife outage is obviously far more frequent, it doesn’t mean that the threat from human initiated outages should be trivialised.

“Whether caused by someone upright on two legs using a keyboard, or down on all fours biting through cables or clogging up vents, it’s important to identify the cause and activate incident response plans as quick as possible when critical infrastructure and industrial control systems come under attack. The use of real-time monitoring tools, that encompasses remote sites, to immediately identify and locate a problem, mitigate further damage and speed up repairs is vital.”

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