In the past, there have been quite a few cyber attacks that disrupt the workings of the physical world. This includes the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks that caused money loss, shut down hospitals, delayed shipments etc. but until recently, no cyber attack directly worked towards endangering human life.
This cyber attack not only shows how sophisticated technology has gotten but also shows how low humanity can stoop.
The target was a petrochemical company in Saudi Arabia that faced a complete blackout in 2017, initially, this was thought to be a glitch in the system but after the second blackout, investigators were hired.
The investigators soon found a hacking tool called “Triton” or “trisis” deployed in the system that either crept into the system using a hole in the firewall or by figuring out an employee’s login credentials.
What Did the Malware Do?
This malware gave hackers the ability to remotely access the plant’s safety system. They were able to tamper with the system and also had the ability to completely shut off the fail-safe system.
For the first time in history, a cyber attack that could meddle with disastrous life-threatening technicalities was discovered. In the worst case scenario, we could have been dealing with the release of poisonous and extremely flammable gasses.
Was it Stopped?
Fortunately, the malware was not as sophisticated as the hackers thought it was and there were some errors. These errors led to the discovery and diffusion of the malware before it could do more damage.
Even though the hackers are on the wanted list, they have not been found yet.
Even the most pessimistic cybersecurity officials did not see attacks like this coming. We don’t know what the future in the cyber world holds but it certainly does not look bright.