Electric Grid Infiltrated by Cyber Spies

April 8, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Obama administration’s recent review of US cyber security programs found a disturbing breach in our nation’s electric grid systems. US intelligence agencies found evidence that cyber intrusions by other governments, perhaps China or Russia, left behind evidence of software tools that could destroy the electrical infrastructure, causing nationwide havoc. Intelligence officials fear the cyber espionage could also affect water and sewer facilities, nuclear power plants and even, disrupt financial markets. Scary stuff indeed!

The software tools discovered by intelligence agents, could function as a Trojan horse that can be remotely activated at will by the cyber attacker to cause massive damage and even, take over control of the system.  Officials believe the sophistication of the cyber intrusions point to countries, such as China or Russia. Intelligence agencies have already caught both China and Russia attempting to map out our infrastructure, including the electric grid.

Both China and Russia deny any involvement in cyber hacking into US systems. Officials didn’t find any evidence of actual harm done to our systems, but the intrusions alone are cause for alarm.

President Obama is committed to securing the nation’s electric grid system from cyber attacks, as it moves to a more Internet based “smart grid” that could leave it more vulnerable to cyber threats.

Our entire electric grid system is due to be overhauled into the smart grid system using $4.5 billion in Stimulus funds, earmarked for the improvements. Experts fear that determined hackers with just $500 worth of readily available electronics could infiltrate the smart grid system causing massive blackouts.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently addressed these concerns by imposing new security measures to safeguard the computer servers from attack. This threat is so dire that Democratic Senators proposed a new bill requiring all critical infrastructure companies to comply with new cyber security standards, also seeking Presidential emergency powers for Intelligence agencies to take control during a crisis.

The cyber intrusions into our critical electric grid systems should serve as a warning for all US infrastructure companies to take heed and institute stronger security safeguards.

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Comments

One Response to “Electric Grid Infiltrated by Cyber Spies”

  1. Sen. Bill, Seeks Broad Powers to Fight Cyber Attacks | ChattahBox News Blog on April 14th, 2009 9:34 am

    […] review by government security officials of our electric grid infrastructure, it was discovered hackers, probably Russian or Chinese, had already penetrated the system. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009, […]

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