A cyber intruder hack of a critical infrastructure water system in Illinois in which a water pump was cycled until it burnt out, was traced to a computer in Russia.
While the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security) “has downplayed the Illinois cyber attack in public reports, stating that it had seen no evidence indicating a threat to public safety but was investigating the situation”, the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center disclosed “the attackers gained access to the system months earlier”.
Lots of questions arise from this incident.
Why would the DHS, the same government agency that brings you the TSA, downplay the issue? Are the really that inept or short-sighted?
Is this only a test to expose holes in infrastructure security?
Does Iran have more than a casual interest in this little hack, and it’s outcome?
What other infrastructure systems are exposed to cyber attack?
This cyber attack ‘rings a bell’ of Stuxnet, and is brought to life via something called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – software). This really IS a huge problem because SCADA makes the world go ’round. SCADA is literally EVERYWHERE around the world, from controlling spacecraft to flushing toilets to oil rigs to nuclear power and sewage plants. SCADA software is quite obviously, vulnerable, and therefore so are we.
Foreign cyber attack hits US infrastructure: expert
“This is arguably the first case where we have had a hack of critical infrastructure from outside the United States that caused damage,”
“No one realized the hackers were in there until they started turning on and off the pump,”
Word also circulated on Friday that a water supply network in Texas might have been breached in a cyber attack.
“My gut tells me that there is greater targeting and wider compromise than we know about,”
We live in an age of electronically controlled systems that enable highly efficient production, processes and distribution, which in turn enables dense population centers to exist without individual self-sufficiency skills and methods. In other words, we are dependent upon our infrastructure for survival.
What is your own risk where you live? Are you prepared?
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