Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Computer Virus Can Cripple Power Plants With the Click of a Mouse

Mac Slavo
July 1st, 2014
breachOutgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued an open letter to her successor last year and warned that a “massive and serious” cyber attack targeting the U.S. power grid was imminent. Such an event, said Napolitano, would have an immediate impact on everything from powering your home to grocery food deliveries.

At the very moment Napolitano made her comments, whether she knew it or not, a group of eastern European hackers believed to be working closely with Russia’s electronic spy agency had compromised upwards of 1,000 key infrastructure components around the world that included wind turbines, gas pipelines, aviation system and power plants.

According to cyber security firm Symantec these state-sponsored hackers breached industrial control systems’ equipment by first hacking the physical computers responsible for managing grid components and then forcing them to download malware that made it possible to take control of the entire system remotely.

Once in, the hacking group known to security engineers as ‘Dragonfly’ was not only able to monitor the operational status of every component on the accessed networks, but they had gained the ability to shut them down completely – with a single click of the mouse.
Over 1,000 energy firms were infected with a sophisticated cyber weapon that gave hackers access to power plant control systems, it has been revealed.

The software allows operators to monitor energy consumption in real time – and to cripple physical systems such as wind turbines, gas pipelines and power plants at the click of a mouse.

‘Among the targets of Dragonfly were energy grid operators, major electricity generation firms, petroleum pipeline operators, and energy industry industrial equipment providers,’ Symantec said.

‘Dragonfly initially targeted defense and aviation companies in the US and Canada before shifting its focus mainly to US and European energy firms in early 2013.’
‘Dragonfly bears the hallmarks of a state-sponsored operation, displaying a high degree of technical capability.
Daily Mail via Steve Quayle
Read more http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/breach-new-computer-virus-can-cripple-power-plants-with-the-click-of-a-mouse_07012014

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