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Paper: Cyber attack targets Israeli-made tech used by Estonian boiler houses

Information System Authority (RIA) logo.
Information System Authority (RIA) logo. Source: Nelli Pello/RIA

The Estonian state Information System Authority (RIA) has been made aware of a cyber attack on the automated control systems of several district heating plants, which in at least one case, in the town of Rakvere, targeted tech made in Israel, regional daily Virumaa teataja reports.

District heating involves hot water generated in boilers being centrally controlled and piped to local apartment houses and other buildings.

RIA spokesperson Arno Põder said heat production at the boiler houses continues, as it was possible to manually override the hacked automated systems, which, it transpired, are Israeli made.

Other companies engaged in activities using similar tech have been notified, Põder said, noting that there has been around a 25-percent rise in such attacks happening this year compared with 2022, and that the impact of such incidents varies widely depending on cyber security and other measures in place at the institution in question – in any case "Vital service providers are under special attention of RIA," he said.

The culprit is not known; the automated control panel at the facility on Roosi street in Rakvere, Lääne Viru County (and another facility on nearby Lembitu, which was on stand-down at the time), was found to have been hacked late on Wednesday night as ascertained by a manager from Rakvere Soojus, investigating a drop in heat production – a control panel in fact displayed a message announcing the system had been hacked.

Backup boilers were available and no residents or businesses went without heating as a result of the attack, which targeted tech made by Israeli firm Unitronics, Virumaa teataja reported.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Postimees

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