The Cyber-Dam Breaks-Sensitive Army database of U.S. dams compromised; Chinese hackers suspected
BY: Bill Gertz
May 1, 2013
U.S. intelligence agencies traced a recent cyber intrusion into a sensitive infrastructure database to the Chinese government or military cyber warriors, according to U.S. officials.
The compromise of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Inventory of Dams (NID) is raising new concerns that China is preparing to conduct a future cyber attack against the national electrical power grid, including the growing percentage of electricity produced by hydroelectric dams.
According to officials familiar with intelligence reports, the Corps of Engineers’ National Inventory of Dams was hacked by an unauthorized user believed to be from China, beginning in January and uncovered earlier this month.
The database contains sensitive information on vulnerabilities of every major dam in the United States. There are around 8,100 major dams across waterways in the United States.
Pete Pierce, a Corps of Engineers spokesman, confirmed the cyber incident but declined to provide details.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is aware that access to the National Inventory of Dams (NID), to include sensitive fields of information not generally available to the public, was given to an unauthorized individual in January 2013 who was subsequently determined to not to have proper level of access for the information,” Pierce said in a statement.