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When Hackers Knocked Out the Lights [Slide Show]

Cyber security threats to critical infrastructure are not just theoretical

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SHARP TARGETING:

October 2010 Officials from Iran report that their nuclear facilities had been infected by Stuxnet, a piece of malware that targets industrial controls made by Siemens. The virus, which is designed to destroy the centrifuges needed to process uranium into weapons-grade material, is widely believed to have been deployed as a targeted attack on Iran's nuclear program.....[ More ]

BRAZILIAN OUTAGE:

November 8, 2009 The television newsmagazine 60 Minutes reports that hackers triggered two power outages in Brazil in 2005 and 2007. The latter outage affected three million people over two days.....[ More ]

FOOTPRINTS IN U.S. GRID:

April 8, 2009 The Wall Street Journal reports spies from "China, Russia and other countries" have infiltrated the U.S. electrical grid, attempted to map it and left behind software that could be used to inflict damage.....[ More ]

WORLDWIDE UTILITIES VULNERABLE:

January 16, 2007 A senior CIA analyst reveals that the agency knows of several successful cyberattacks on utilities companies outside of the U.S. At least one attack cut power to multiple cities, which the CIA did not name.....[ More ]

ESTONIA UNDER SIEGE:

April 26, 2007 to May 18, 2007 Russian hackers use denial-of-service attacks to block access to Estonia's banks, government communications and major media websites after Estonian officials removed a Soviet memorial in Tallinn, the country's capital.....[ More ]

TESTING THE GRID:

March 2007 Idaho National Laboratory researchers test a cyber attack against a replica of a power plant's control system. The experiment, called Aurora, destroys a generator, filling the replica plant with smoke and demonstrating how hackers could target the U.S.....[ More ]

NUCLEAR PUMPS FAIL:

August 19, 2006 High network traffic locks two cooling pumps at Alabama's Browns Ferry nuclear power plant. Operators are forced to shut down the plant manually. A Government Accountability Office investigation found that hackers could enter power plant's internal computer network through its operator's corporate network.....[ More ]

NUCLEAR PLANT SLAMMED:

January 25, 2003 The Slammer worm brings down safety monitoring systems at Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear power plant for almost five hours. The worm bypasses the plant's digital firewalls by first infecting a Davis-Besse contractor's computer, spreading to Davis-Besse's corporate network, then connecting to the computers that control operations.....[ More ]

RAW REVENGE:

February 28, 2000 to April 23, 2000 A disgruntled sewage plant employee uses stolen radio equipment to issue commands that release more than 757,000 liters of raw sewage into parks and rivers in Queensland, Australia.....[ More ]

CIA-BAITED SOFTWARE:

June 1982 A gas pipe in Siberia explodes after its computer control system malfunctions. Soviet spies had stolen the system from a Canadian firm, not knowing that the CIA, anticipating the theft, had altered the software to produce much higher pressures than a gas pipe's joints can handle.....[ More ]

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