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CIA Says Hackers Have Cut Power Grid

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 12:51 AM
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Most network traffic is through private networks. You would be amazed if you had seen as many network maps for fortune 500 companies as I have.

I happen to be a Network Engineer, and at one point in my career I ran security scans of some power stations networks. They do have networks.

Very good ones, very secure. These are run by Engineers who understand their importance. They are to put it bluntly, very serious people!


The architecture requires communications for coordination, this is obvious if you think of the scale and the complexity of a power grid, No I am not speaking from personal knowledge on this point.

I have no idea of what generators are tied into, but I promise you they are tied together in some fashon. And Nations have access to the knowledge of that level of technology. So Nations know how to play the game, even if you do not.

I would not be so quick to rule out direct remote access to the generators. I would hope they can and have been put into an indirect control mode now.

My take is that WWIII has begun. The CIA is not releasing the names of the countries involved. I believe that is to leave the player roster as speculation. Why?

So we do not realize that WWIII is underway.



[edit on 23-1-2008 by Cyberbian]




posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by milltownman
Theres no way to hack power grids


You are absolutely incorrect.

Of course, there are some stand-alone systems that are completely closed only with local control, but for many SCADA systems (for both Power and oil/gas) there are ways to get in.

Someone above was on the mark (Fuzzyone). Many SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Aquisition) systems are indeed on either thier own network, or a subnet of a system, and may or may not be firewalled off. These systems usually are operated with a server/client configuration where the server runs the application (the control system itself) and client applications are installed on workstations to allow controllers to control the system.

Client applications can be installed on workstations that are not directly within the subnet. When they are outside the subnet there is usually a layered protocol that encrypts data transmission, but the attack does not occurr from someone intercepting packets.

The danger is as (fuzzyone) stated. While these SCADA systems are isolated the client side workstation is not. Controller workstations may be connected to the internet, and I gaurantee you, that in some cases they are. If a hacker can gain access to a workstation that has the control client application they can hack a power grid or oil/gas pipeline (which is just as bad- BTW).

The reason I can Gaurantee you this is because I administrate a SCADA system, and have gone to many round-table discussions regarding this issue. It is an issue that the industry is trying to mitigate, and is currently addressing.

If you want more information you can check out this link for starters:
SCADA - Security



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:00 PM
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Thought I would also add this bit:


-I am a Chief Powerplant Operator at a mainstem Columbia River dam, in the northwest. I have worked in hydro powerplants, and high voltage switchyards for 27 years.
...
All large generators are protected by vsarious protective relay schemes, and
are well protected. They are protected for many conditions, such as loss of
excitation, generator ground, generator differential, phase imbalance, negative sequence current, overvoltage, and the list goes on, in the old days, these relays were descrete relays for each function, but now, they are basically microprocessors, and one box has many functions, and the "relays"
...
As far as comms go, I do know our "computer engineers" both for the ecurity system, and the plant control system, and power system control computers, can get in from home, over the public network, and that access is "deeper" that my access running the plant.


Difficult to validate these claims but like everything else on the 'Net it must be true.
If security personal are using modems for access to apparently closed systems then they are vulnerable to an extent.

src groups.yahoo.com...

brill


[edit on 1-3-2008 by brill]



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:37 PM
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I remember a computer expo they held in the uk, and they invited hackers along to basicly show off their skills, right there in front of them, one hacker changed the traffic lights in central london!
Also, hackers from india changed the ingrediant ratios at baby food plant in brazil, luckily it was noticed or inocent babies WOULD have died otherwise.Also heart monitring equipment was switched off remotely via the internet at a hospital in south america in a apparent mob hit on a particular patient. In other words, where theres a will........



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by kyote6
 


Have you heard of the new found technology of the internet over power lines? They are thinking of starting that here in the U.S. and the power companies have already done it. I have a new meter at my house that sends them the usage reading at my house and it only connects to the power so they have to be using it. That is the way in and only high tech people would know how to use it with out being toasted so yes it is not a closed system anymore.



posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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This story comes out and 4 weeks later we have this huge power outage here in Florida. They call it human error but as usual I am skeptical.



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