Talking the hack of CS Energy on ABC Adelaide

ABC logo

Late last month Queensland electricity generator CS Energy disclosed that they’d been the victim of a ransomware attack, but that it had been contained before it could disrupt production. Today a news story blamed China. Really? I spoke about that this afternoon on ABC Adelaide.

NewsCorp outlets headlined it as CS Energy hit by Chinese cyberattack that almost cost 3m homes power. But why would China do ransomware? They’ve got plenty of money. And it turns out that a Russian or Russia-adjacent hacking crew named Conti had already claimed responsibility.

CS Energy’s announcement made no such claim.

My guess is that Andrew Hastie, the Coalition MP quoted in the story, was freelancing his own foreign policy by blaming China. Normally countries are only named as the perpetrators as part of a carefully coordinated international process.

Anyway, here’s the recording of my conversation with Jules Schiller.

This audio is ©2021 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Update 9 December 2021: No of course it wasn’t China. My ZDNet editor Chris Duckett has written Queensland government energy generator says ransomware attack not state-based. And at the Australian Financial Review, Joe Aston write the wonderfully scathing Daily Tele flubs China attack:

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph splashed its Wednesday edition with the revelation of “China’s Dark Plot”, an exclusive on Beijing’s “cyber hit on our power network”. The tableau, rendered in Dulux customer favourite “Communist Red”, depicted Xi Jinping shaking a clenched fist and looming over a defenceless Queensland power station. It was a front page entirely free of the burden of nuance or sophistication. Or facts.