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 Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant

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UncleFrank
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PostSubject: Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant   Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:33 am

I was only a matter of time that this would occur. China and Russia both said they would step up these kinds of attcaks.



Foreign hackers targeted U.S. water plant in apparent malicious cyber attack, expert says
By Ellen Nakashima
Foreign hackers caused a pump at an Illinois water plant to fail last week, according to a preliminary state report. Experts said the cyber-attack, if confirmed, would be the first known to have damaged one of the systems that supply Americans with water, electricity and other essentials of modern life.

Companies and government agencies that rely on the Internet have for years been routine targets of hackers, but most incidents have resulted from attempts to steal information or interrupt the functioning of Web sites. The incident in Springfield, Ill., would mark a departure because it apparently caused physical destruction.

Federal officials confirmed that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were investigating damage to the water plant but cautioned against concluding that it was necessarily a cyber-attack before all the facts could be learned. “At this time there is no credible corroborated data that indicates a risk to critical infrastructure entities or a threat to public safety,” said DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard.

News of the incident became public after Joe Weiss, an industry security expert, obtained a report dated Nov. 10 and collected by an Illinois state intelligence center that monitors security threats. The original source of the information was unknown and impossible to immediately verify.

The report, which Weiss read to The Washington Post, describes how a series of minor glitches with a water pump gradually escalated to the point where the pump motor was being turned on and off frequently. It soon burned out, according to the report.

The report blamed the damage on the actions of somebody using a computer registered to an Internet address in Russia. “It is believed that hackers had acquired unauthorized access to the software company’s database” and used this information to penetrate the control system for the water pump.

Experts cautioned that it is difficult to trace the origin of a cyber-attack, and that false addresses often are used to confuse investigations. Yet they also agreed that the incident was a major new development in cyber-security.

“This is a big deal,” said Weiss. “It was tracked to Russia. It has been in the system for at least two to three months. It has caused damage. We don’t know how many other utilities are currently compromised.”

Dave Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs, said that the computers that control critical systems in the United States are vulnerable to attacks that come through the Internet, and few operators of these systems know how to detect or defeat these threats. “So many are ill-prepared for cyber-attacks,” Marcus said.

The Illinois report said that hackers broke into a software company’s database and retrieved user names and passwords of control systems that run water plant computer equipment. Using that data, they were able to hack into the plant in Illinois, Weiss said.

Senior U.S. officials have recently raised warnings about the risk of destructive cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure. One of the few documented cases of such an attack resulted from a virus, Stuxnet, that caused centrifuges in an Iranian uranium enrichment facility to spin out of control last year. Many computer security experts have speculated that Stuxnet was created by Israel — perhaps with U.S. help — as a way to check Iran’s nuclear program.

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PostSubject: Re: Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant   Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:37 am

When you engage i this type of behavior, you should expect someone to use it against you! TWIT!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant   Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:48 pm

This cyber warfare has been going on for some time now. This is nothing new. The Pentagon has been attacked for awhile and it happens many times a day. This is the first one to the infrastructure. This week in Northern N.J. There has been sabatoge at one water plant where someone has got into the control panel and has been fiddling with the buttons for flouride disperstion and for valves I beleive for diverting sewerage. I'm going to buy a ceramic filtering device so I can get water out of my pool if this happens in my area. They dont cost very much and I think it is time to become a little less dependent on the grid.
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PostSubject: Re: Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant   Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:09 pm

That is a smart move! We have a private well and I also have a generator that will run the well. Actually there is a 35oo watt generator that runs on gas and then my diesel welder, Miller Bog 50 has a 7KV or 8KV generator on it! I think if wired correctly it would run most things in the house. Over the holidays I will get my electrician buddy to look it over and tell me what I need to get for him to wire it in where if needed I can pull it in the garage and turn it on and plug in!! Have four food grade 330 gallon framed containers that I can store water in long term so I would not have to run the generator but 15 to 20 minutes to fill them up! I think that is just being smart in these times to be prepared!! TWIT!!

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PostSubject: Re: Foreign Hackers Target U.S. Water Plant   Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:03 pm

You got a good deal going on there. I was looking at a stainless steel 4 ceramic filter for around $250. I also ordered some sample entrees of Moutain House freeze dried to taste test. If I like them I'll buy some 30 day buckets of them. I went to this place called Epicenter. I bought 2 each of 2 dinner entrees and 2 of the breakfast entrees.
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