Dave Stancliff First known foreign cyber attack on a U.S. industrial system? blogarama.com

Friday, November 18, 2011

First known foreign cyber attack on a U.S. industrial system?

Federal investigators are looking into a report that hackers managed to remotely shut down a utility's water pump in central Illinois last week, in what could be the first known foreign cyber attack on a U.S. industrial system. The Nov. 8 incident was described in a one-page report from the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center, according to Joe Weiss, a prominent expert on protecting infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Cyber security experts said that the reported attack highlights the risk that attackers can break into what is known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. They are highly specialized computer systems that control critical infrastructure — from water treatment facilities, chemicals plants and nuclear reactors to gas pipelines, dams and switches on train lines.

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