Cybersecurity: Hackers ‘hit’ US water treatment systems

Our nation’s infrastructure, water lines, hackers, Russia, multiple attacks. Not good. Read on:

From the BBC, 21 November 2011: Hackers are alleged to have destroyed a pump used to pipe water to thousands of homes in a US city in Illinois. Hackers with access to the utility’s network are thought to have broken the
pump by turning it on and off quickly.

The FBI and Department for Homeland Security (DHS) are investigating the incident as details emerge of what could be a separate second attack. Experts said the news revealed a growing interest in critical infrastructure by cyber criminals.

Information about the 8 November incident came to light via the blog of Joe Weiss who advises utilities on how to protect hardware against attack. Mr Weiss quoted from a short report by the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and
Intelligence Center which said hackers obtained access using stolen login names and passwords. These were taken from a company which writes control software for industrial systems.

The net address through which the attack was carried out was traced to Russia, according to Mr Weiss. The report said “glitches” in the remote access system for the pump had been noticed for months before the burn out, said Mr Weiss. . . . [Read the rest]


Threats are Out There