Blackout risk due to cyberattack increases due to Ukraine war

Authorities are sounding the alarm: the war in Ukraine is increasing the risk of a cyberattack on the public power grid. The consequences could be catastrophic. Germany is still too ill-prepared for such a horror scenario, warns the GDV insurance association. The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) shares this view. The highly complex power system is very susceptible to failure. What is certain is that our accustomed everyday life will collapse after just 24 hours without electricity.


Dependence on power supply – a huge problem!

According to the BBK, it is only possible to speculate about the exact effects of a prolonged blackout on the population. In any case, however, a catastrophe would occur. This can be seen from the report of an office close to the government. The term “catastrophe” was not yet used in 2011. Instead, it was used to refer to a “damage situation of special quality.” It does not require a fertile imagination to be aware of possible consequences – after all, most parts of our society depend on a constant power supply.

Blackout risk due to cyberattack increases due to Ukraine war. BBK warns of restrictions in system-relevant areas
Blackout risk due to cyberattack increases due to Ukraine war. BBK warns of restrictions in system-relevant areas

The Federal Office for Civil Protection warns of restrictions in system-relevant areas. Telecommunications could fail. Private households would experience difficulties with water and food supplies. The effect of a power blackout on health care would also be terrible. What if the lights go out in the hospital and the machines come to a standstill? It quickly becomes clear that human lives are at stake when critical infrastructure fails. Experts warn: The more we develop a dependence on the power supply, the bigger the problem will become!


Disaster scenarios played out

Immediately after the power fails over a large area, people in Germany would feel it. Cell phones remain silent, the Internet can no longer be accessed, and ATMs no longer dispense bills either. In hospitals, the emergency generators are fired up – but these only provide electricity for around 48 hours. After that, respirators fail and patients in intensive care die. Since there is no longer a supply of water, toilets turn into outhouses. Garbage piles up – hygiene problems become a health issue in hospitals and nursing homes.

The fact that the TV remains black is by far the smallest problem. After about a week, it will no longer be possible to cool the remaining nuclear power plants sufficiently. The danger of a core meltdown, a super shutdown, then increases massively.


Attention, cyberattack!

Our infrastructure is now digitally networked. This has advantages and disadvantages. Problems arise when the networks cannot be adequately protected from malicious hackers. Hostile actors could try to provoke a blackout. As this has become more likely in the context of the Ukraine war, the BSI has started to sensitize operators and authorities to the issue. In addition, the national center for IT security has also been activated due to the “increased threat situation”. Even if there were no concrete indications of a planned cyberattack, the BSI is being cautious. The assessment of the situation could change at any time.

Personal provision is important

Disaster prevention experts warn that very few people in Germany have prepared themselves for the effects of a crisis. By no means should people rely solely on the state, they must take precautions themselves. Around 2 weeks must get along everyone without assistance from the outside. Stockpiles should be made:

  • Food (canned)
  • Drinking water
  • Candles
  • a gas stove
  • a battery operated radio

It is also important to stock up on necessary medications and stock up on a first aid kit, he said.


Our power supply is also becoming increasingly insecure due to cyberattacks like these. It is only a matter of time before the supply collapses. Therefore, prepare yourself in good time for a prolonged power outage.

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