Squirrels cause more financial damage to critical Infrastructure than Cyber Attacks

If you think that Cyber Attacks are causing more panic for governments interested in protecting their critical infrastructure, then you’re absolutely wrong!

According to a survey made by One Security Expert, the real threat to critical infrastructure located around the globe is from the squirrels. It has been discovered that squirrels are causing more damage to critical infrastructure than cyber wars launched by enemy states or organizations.
The Shmoocon Security Conference witnessed this as a fact when Cris Thomas- widely known as “SpaceRogue” disclosed his survey findings.

Chris said that since 2013 he was keeping a tab on power cuts and damages caused by animals to critical infrastructure. And found that squirrels, birds, rats, and snakes were responsible for causing 1700 power cuts affecting around 5 million people on an annual note resulting in eight billion financial damage.

Chris wanted to dispel the hype around cyber attacks and so started a project called Cyber Squirrel 1 project. This security conference which is being hosted in Washington witnessed some astonishing facts on the survey and the highlights are as follows-

Squirrels topped the list with 879 attacks on US power grids

Birds with 434 attacks on US Nuclear research stations and power grids

Snakes with 83 attacks resulted in critical infrastructure shutdown in
US and other parts of the world since 2013.

72 attacks by Racoons resulted in critical infrastructure shutdown

36 Rat attacks resulted in damage to critical infrastructure

Martens 22 and three frogs in separate incidents caused power outages to US power grids

The survey concluded that the cyber attacks which hit Iranian Uranium Enrichment Centrifuge and Ukraine Power plants were diminutive when compared to the cyber threat posed by animals.

SpaceRogue said in the conference that he started to collect information on an initial note from Google alerts and other web resources. Then as the project evolved into a large size, he started visiting some critical infrastructure sites located around the globe on a manual note to investigate the issues which caused a shutdown.

Thus, all this boils down to one point that governments should not only build the critical facilities with Cyber attacks in mind but must also take Mother Nature and the prevailing ecosystem while building the facilities.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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