Breach: New Computer Virus Can Cripple Power Plants With the Click of a Mouse

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
By Paul Martin

Mac Slavo
July 1st, 2014

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued an open letter to her successor last year and warned that a “massive and serious” cyber attack targeting the U.S. power grid was imminent. Such an event, said Napolitano, would have an immediate impact on everything from powering your home to grocery food deliveries.

At the very moment Napolitano made her comments, whether she knew it or not, a group of eastern European hackers believed to be working closely with Russia’s electronic spy agency had compromised upwards of 1,000 key infrastructure components around the world that included wind turbines, gas pipelines, aviation system and power plants.

According to cyber security firm Symantec these state-sponsored hackers breached industrial control systems’ equipment by first hacking the physical computers responsible for managing grid components and then forcing them to download malware that made it possible to take control of the entire system remotely.

Once in, the hacking group known to security engineers as ‘Dragonfly’ was not only able to monitor the operational status of every component on the accessed networks, but they had gained the ability to shut them down completely – with a single click of the mouse.

The Rest…HERE

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