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“Human Error Not Chinese Cyberattack”: Union Minister On Mumbai Blackout

New Delhi:

Union Power Minister RK Singh on Tuesday said that the Mumbai power outage last October was caused by “human error” and there is no evidence to prove that it was triggered due to a cyberattack by China.

Speaking to ANI, Mr Singh said, “Two teams investigated the power outage and reported that the outage was caused by human error and not due to cyberattack. One of the teams submitted that cyberattacks did happen but they were not linked to the Mumbai grid failure,”

“The cyberattacks happened on our northern and southern region load dispatch centres. However, the malware could not reach our operating system. Maharashtra Home Minister has informed that cyberattacks happened on their Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system in Mumbai,” the minister added.

The minister added there is no evidence to say that the cyberattacks were carried out whether by China or Pakistan. “Some people say that the group behind the attacks is Chinese but we don’t have evidence. China will definitely deny it,” Mr Singh said.

“We are already alert about this. Our transmission system can be shut out by a cyberattack. We had set up a committee concerning this two years ago and received recommendations from the committee. We were cautious before and will be cautious in future because this danger has not yet gone,” he added.

Mr Singh’s remark follows a statement put out by the union power ministry yesterday which said there was no impact on operations of Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) due to any malware attack.

A report by a US-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 Galwan valley in June 2020.

Yesterday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that 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 the state energy minister Nitin Raut.

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