Cyber-attacks on London electricity networks could disrupt upwards of 1.5 million people at a cost of £111m daily, a new study warns.
According to research from the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) at the University of Oxford, electricity networks are increasingly susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Point of failure
Such networks are proving to be a point of failure which many people previously thought impermeable.
“Critical national infrastructure such as smart electricity networks are susceptible to malicious cyber-attacks which could cause substantial power outages and cascading failure affecting multiple business, health and education organisations as well domestic supply,” said Edward Oughton, infrastructure researcher at the ITRC and the Centre for Risk Studies at the Cambridge Judge Business School.
An estimated 62,000 people were affected by a power failure caused by a substation outage in New York recently. However, this could seem insignificant next to the possible effects of a cyber-attack on a network, the ITRC notes.
In 2015, a cyber-physical attack took place on the Ukrainian electricity distribution network, leading to a loss of power for 225,000 people.