Cyberattacks Hit European Wind Energy Companies, Three Fall Victims to the Hacks

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Three Germany-based wind-energy companies have been fell victims to a wave of cyberattacks during the war between Russia and Ukraine, causing thousands of turbines shutdown.

Enercon GmbH was the first German wind turbine manufacturer to bear the brunt on Feb. 24. Its communication services via satellites went down at the expense of around 5,800 turbines in central Europe, with 10 gigawatts of power enough for 7.5 million homes losing connection, though the operation continued on auto mode.

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Nordex, another wind turbine maker, was forced to shut down its IT systems after being hit by cybercrime on March 31, which then was claimed responsibility by Russia-based ransomware group Conti which was sympathetic to Russia and meant to disrupt the European efforts of less reliance on Russian oil and gas.

The latest incident involved Deutsche Windtechnik, a German wind turbine maintenance, and repair company, which declared in a statement on April 11 and 12 that its IT systems were targeted by a cyber attack and that they had to turn off during that period. Fortunately, the company was able to restore most of the encrypted servers from the malicious software, but the IT department decided to gradually bring the services online while remaining partial shutdown for safety.

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No group or government were attributed to other two attacks, though the timing implied some links with supporters of Russia. The German economy is heavily reliant on Russian oil and gas imports, and Berlin has been looking for alternatives since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began.

Matthias Brandt, director of Deutsche Windtechnik, said that high IT security standards were needed. A strong self-defense IT system is the basis to fend off unexpected cyber strikes like these. Install anti-ransomware software and host-based firewalls to secure your IT environment from the inside. Provide staff training on the cyber threats and arm them with correct procedures. Use different strong passwords with multi-factor authentication for devices and update them periodically. Detect suspicious activities and report them to IT team. But one should never forget to back up. That’s the key to restore. Vinchin Backup & Recovery is an experienced virtual machine solution dedicated to data backup and recovery to protect critical data from cybercrimes.

Step 1: Have frequent backups in advance

Backup is the first thing and the last line of an anti-ransomware plan. Vinchin Backup & Recovery has customizable full backup, differential backup and incremental backup strategies with automatic scheduling to meet diverse business needs. And the data encryption feature guarantees data security in the backup process.

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Step 2: Keep backup from ransomware

Vinchin Backup & Recovery provides unique backup storage protection feature to protect stored backup data. The software monitors I/O in real-time, and can immediately deny the data modification request from unauthorized any application (like ransomware or other malware). As a result, the backups will be immune to ransomware infection and ready to step in if anything goes wrong.

Step 3: Minimize loss with effective disaster recovery

Vinchin Backup & Recovery adheres to the 3-2-1 backup rule by offering offsite backup copy and cloud archive features to make sure your important data is still highly recoverable, even if the primary data center gets paralyzed by cyberattack. You can use offsite backup copies to instantly restore the business to a remote production environment, or retrieve the backup data from the cloud and restore them to the primary data center, minimizing downtime and financial loss while ensuring high data integrity.
Cyber attacks are never just the news from the paper or others’ stories, instead, they are living examples around us. We all can fall prey to hackers or ransomware groups if we are not taking the possible loss seriously. The importance of establishing a complete backup and DR solution cannot be overstated, actually, and it’s better to be prepared than to be sorry. Now you can download the 60-days full-featured free trial of Vinchin Backup & Recovery to explore more.

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