Both Dragos and Slovakian anti-virus firm ESET have issued alerts to governments and infrastructure operators in an effort to prepare them for the possible threat CrashOverride poses, according to Reuters.
"The malware is really easy to re-purpose and use against other targets. That is definitely alarming," ESET malware researcher Robert Lipovsky told Reuters. "This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital."
Dragos founder Robert M. Lee told the wire service that while CrashOverride can cause portions of a nation’s electric grid to go down for several days, it is not currently powerful enough to bring down the entirety of a country’s grid.
Still, Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, described the cyberweapon as “a game charger” in an interview with The Post.
“It’s the culmination of over a decade of theory and attack scenarios,” Caltagirone said.
CrashOverride is just the second malware discovered that was created with the intent to disrupt physical systems, Wired reported. The first known malware created with such a purpose was the 2010 Stuxnet virus, used by the U.S. and Israel to attack Iran's nuclear program.
“The potential impact here is huge,” Lipovsky told Wired. “If this is not a wakeup call, I don’t know what could be.”