Cyber-Attack on Australian Utility Firm Energy One Spreads to UK Systems

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A cyber-attack on Australian utility company, Energy One Limited (EOL), could have international impact with the firm’s corporate systems in the UK also affected.

The company, a global supplier of software and services to the wholesale energy market, confirmed that it had taken steps to limit the impact of the incident and had alerted both the Australian Cyber Security Centre and “certain UK authorities.”

According to a document signed by Andrew Bonwick, Board Chairman of EOL, it was established that the firm’s corporate systems had been affected on August 18, 2023. The statement was made on August 21 and published on the Australian Securities Exchange website (ASX).

EOL is currently investigating the incident and is attempting to identify if any additional systems have been impacted.

The Bonwick statement added that key lines of ongoing inquiry are attempting to establish whether or what personal information and/or customer-facing systems have been affected as well as what the initial point of entry for the attacker was.

Rob Bolton, VP EMEA at Versa Networks commented: “It’s important for both customers and employees not to panic. In the meantime, people should be on the lookout for any potential phishing emails or any other form of unsolicited communication.”

Bolton also praised EOL for what he said was a “quick response time” which will mitigate the impact of the attack. “Quickly isolating an attack can be the difference between services and systems being available to customers or not, as well as sensitive data or personal information being stolen,” he said.  

Commenting on the incident, Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security, said: “As Energy One investigates, remediates and determines the scope of this incident, it has disabled some of the links between its corporate systems and customer-facing systems. However, the energy providers it sells its software and services to must be particularly vigilant during this time and investigate any abnormality.”

Some security experts have also noted that the incident follows a pattern of cyber-criminals targeting the energy sector and critical national infrastructure (CNI).

Simon Chassar, CRO, Claroty said: “The attack on Energy One follows a trend of increased cyber-attacks against the energy sector. Following on from warnings to the sector from the UK’s NCSC and National Security Agency (NSA), industries such as energy are at a heightened risk due to playing a vital role in society's daily functioning. Disruptions to these sectors can have far-reaching consequences, including impacting the national economy, causing shortages and halting society's operation.

EOL has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange since 2007 and primarily serves Asia-Pacific and UK and Europe.

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