Monday, January 21, 2008

No Power? Maybe It's the Bad Guys


Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, a CIA analyst said this week.

Speaking at a
conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.

Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.

Here's the part that's even worse news:

One conference attendee said the disclosure came as news to many of the government and industry security professionals in attendance. "It appeared that there were a lot of people who didn't know this already," said the attendee, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with the press.

While SCADA software is known to be very vulnerable, that stuff is only used on pipelines, not for electrical utility controls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Criminals" or "terrorists"?

If a cyberattack was launched from inside a hostile state would we respond to "criminal activity" or would we regard it as an "act of war" committed by state sponsored terrorists worthy of military retaliation?