Infrastructure Cyber Attack: “We Don’t Know How Many Other Utilities Are Compromised”
November 19th, 2011
We’ve written extensively about the threat within the utility infrastructure of the United States for quite some time. In April of 2011 we noted that staggering security holes exist in our power, water, and oil grid infrastructure and two months ago commander of U.S. cyber command General Keith Alexander warned that strikes designed to disrupt computer operations and “lethal attacks that destroy entire systems and physical equipment” would specifically target not just our utility grids, but commerce and transportation systems.
For many, these scenarios are hypothetical science fiction.
The latest incident in Illinois proves this is no longer the case, as security experts have determined that foreign hackers, likely originating from Russia, have compromised our water utility grid and figured out a way to shut down water pump systems in a manner similar to that in which the Stuxnet worm destroyed Iranian centrifuges last year. The threat is now reality: