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Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies

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posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:26 AM
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Having worked for a major ISP and one of Europes largest internet security providers I know a little about this environment, albeit without being a techy so I may not be 100% correct.

This I know, every NOC (Network Operations Centre) or server storage facility whatever TLA (Three Letter Acronym
) you may have for it, MUST by provision of SLA's (Service Level Agreements) adhere to an uptime usually of at least 99.5%. This means that in the event of blackout they will revert to UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), basically backup generators.
The vast majority and certainly the major telco terminations e.g. RedHouse/RedBus (UK) must have fire protection in place whereby the building can be sealed and oxygen filtered out to control the spread of any fire.

It's also not true, again AFAIK, that any firewall can be hacked. If a network is behind a DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone) in Networking terms any Firewall present will not only subnet mask the entire network but will be 'off the map' as far as intrusions are concerned. I think - feel free to argue that,

As for virus's it's a little known very sad fact that ALL producers of anti virus software hire 'network security testers' or "White Collar Crackers/Hackers". These guys are paid to infiltrate large networks (with the permission of the network owner ofc) in order to expose vulnerabilities, ergo selling them more software and consultancy to protect their systems.
It's never admitted, but having known a few of these guys personally, I KNOW that those working for McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, Checkpoint etc etc and all the major AV and Firewall software manufacturers are often tasked with CREATING VIRUS's - WHY? because, much like with the military, if there's no threat there's no need for a solution. i.e. if there's no virus, there's no need for anti-virus etc.

It's my beleif that Conficker in particular came from one of these, and was possibly part of Norton's VERY DODGY PIFTS.exe 'patch'.

Conficker can be removed, but is also a self replicator so if it's not out of the registry you haven't gotten rid of it AFAIK. Sadly this is the true nature of security. They don't want to secure you, as with everything they need fear to establish demand.

If anything can be refuted, as I say I'm not a techie I'm a marketing kinda guy, please feel free to dispute me.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Pr0t0]




posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:41 AM
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Give us your liberties and we'll protect your freedom.


Yeah right... good try propaganda machine.

Any computer is vulnerable, but hooking such important ones up to the INTERNET is damn stupid. It'd be like.. I dunno.. hooking up a critical service that would easily effect the economy to the internet and open to the possibility of attack...

wait..

>_>

'ba-doom boom PISH'


If they require grid monitoring, why not simply run a data cable along each line while maintainence is being performed, which runs a monitoring signal/network.. a closed network as such. You could run signal down the powerlines, but if they broke then you have no connectivity.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:41 AM
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reply to post by Pr0t0
 


So your saying its possible, ex hackers, like some of those original hackers in the 60s who worked for microsoft are working for the electric company to test security.

plausible defo.

why have they come out and reported this in the media? blaming spies that are linked back to Russia and China.

surely if they was just testing the system, they would test it, and then it would be done, no need to go to the press about it.

why would they possibly cause diplomatic situations?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:51 AM
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As someone posted earlier, you have to assume that if China and Russia are doing this to us, we are also doing it to them, in spades.

Digital Mutual Assured Destruction (D-MAD), not much different than our nuclear deterrent.

Call me jaded, but this threat seems rather mundane to me.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by johnsky
I've got a valid question.

Why is your electrical grid connected to the internet in the first place?


I mean, lo be it for me to tell technicians they can't chat while they work, but connecting the same terminals that control the grid to the internet seems like asking for trouble to me.


Well... whatever, if the grid comes down, it's your own fault for being stupid.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by johnsky]


I agree and disagree with that statement, but if we are that lax on controlling and watching our own systems & not have redundancy in place, than shame on us - AND you can't tell me the U.S. Hasn't done the same...Just because it is coming to light here in the US that this may be an issue for concern doesn't mean we haven't known about it for a while and hav put solutions in place.. OR is this just another plot to regulate the Internet by paying our own spies to hack into our systems.. Not like it hasn't happened before.. How many times have you heard that Microsoft or some other big company found a hacker in their system, identified him/her than hired him/her to make the system tougher and then get some other outsiders to try and hack into a system.. Happens all the time -there are companies out there that their sole purpose is to be paid to hack systems legally for companies...



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:56 AM
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Surely the US are going to retaliate in some way? Like open a can on those fools?

If a nation allows spies to hack into a central power resource that has the capacity to bring the country to a halt ... this surely warrants action of some form?

Imagine if they sold that information to terrorists



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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Originally posted by daeoeste
I feel like I should comment on this because it made me think of something strange that happened to me about 12:00 am tonight.(April 8th) I had gotten off of work and was reading some new star trek reviews on ain't it cool news when my computer speakers started playing some random commercial for lysol disinfectant wipes, then suddenly went silent. I was not listening to the radio, I do not own a television, and my computer did not have any programs running except the aforementioned website, which had no advertisements for lysol anywhere. This is ain't it cool news. There are not likely to be any soccer-moms perusing that website for the latest news about the new wolverine movie.

Is this evidence of surveillance?

[edit on 02/21/09 by daeoeste]


This could be evidence of a computer malware or virus. I was having similar issues last year in that I would suddenly hear an advertisement of some sort or, in other cases, music, out of my speakers. I did an internet search and found that the playing of random audio files can be caused by malicious files placed on your PC.

Here is a forum that discusses this issue:

www.techsupportforum.com...

Hope this helps.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:09 AM
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reply to post by Sparkey76
 


Was it Rockefeller who recently claimed that the internet was the most dangerous thing of our time?

I think if they wanted to create mass hysteria and inject total control, which for any number of reasons and scenarios they may, then taking down the power grid and claiming that it was an outside attack would be a good way about it.

People would be carpet bombed with leaflet's to promote the news. The grid would not rely on the internet's survival, not by any stretch, but would they tell you it did to cut you off in the event of supposed "shortages" or requirement for Martial Law? Sure they would.

I have no idea in honesty. I'm just hypothesising, but it certainly seem's plausible that they would shut you down before they round you up.

EDIT: the White Collar Hackers I talk about many ARE irrefutably employed by major security companies and the MoD. UNDOUBTEDLY they have been required to hack the electric suppliers at some point to ascertain the level of security present, in order to sell more time. The flip side is that many of these guys are also social hackers - because they are employed to hack does not mean that in their private time they don't illegally hack.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Pr0t0]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by johnsky
I've got a valid question.

Why is your electrical grid connected to the internet in the first place?


I mean, lo be it for me to tell technicians they can't chat while they work, but connecting the same terminals that control the grid to the internet seems like asking for trouble to me.


Well... whatever, if the grid comes down, it's your own fault for being stupid.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by johnsky]



Well, I was thinking of hooking my Toilet up to the internet so I could be anywhere in the world
and check if I need to bring home some toilet paper.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by hdchop
 


Much about this report doesn't ring true to me. First of all, as you suggest, there is redundancy throughout the grids. Of course, the problem there is that, if this malicious software makes it through the security perimeter, it could be on the redundant system as well.

Therein lies the most curious part of this story. If we know the "software," is there then it can be removed. You and I might not be able to do it but if an IT security guru discovers the programs then they likely know how it works and what it is trying to do. Once they know that, then they can almost always disable the programs.

Also, if in fact we are aware of the programs, WHY ANNOUNCE IT? Why not monitor them and let them lead us back to the source? It seems to me that this has been made public because we want the Chinese and Russians to know...or perhaps MUCH more is known than is being reported but we don't want those who have been doing to the spying to know the depth of what we have discovered.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:27 AM
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whatever, it seems a lot of you seem to be way too paranoid at times, making something out of nothing. i really think this site is getting bombarded with disinformation lately. our government, while phucked up, has bigger things to worry about then us talking to each other online. I dont doubt that the power grid is connected to the net, noting the incompetence of the federal government. Its a phucking joke. relax and enjoy yourselfs, dont worry about stupid bs that honestly doesnt matter. oh yea im a computer tech and there's a very simple way to get rid of "software left behind" its called reformat, its not like the data wouldnt be backed up already. this is bull*hit!



[edit on 8-4-2009 by iamjesusphish]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by george_gaz Imagine if they sold that information to terrorists


thanks for that fear mongering nonsense... i believe that the us government are the real terrorists im certainly not worried about some 19 year old hacker or some cave dwelling afghan with his ussr era weaponry.

thanks for that line chenneybush...

[edit on 8-4-2009 by iamjesusphish]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by iamjesusphish
 


I don't mean to call BS back, but....

If you're a techie you above all should know that reformatting does not remove all data from a hard disk... even F-Disk and reformat won't. In fact AFAIK only magnetic deletion can truly wipe a disk of everything. Yes backup is important, for once you have truly deleted the corrupted files and identified and secured vulnerabilities, you can then proceed to restore your previous data.

Are you really a tech??



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by Pr0t0
 

well, i was taught that deleting a partition would wipe out any malware/viruses but i suppose i have more to learn and yes i am a+ certified...



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:48 AM
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I'm sorry... I just can't help but snicker. I am envisioning a teenage Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy breaking into a high security government computer so they can play 'Global Thermonuclear War'.

Greetings Professor Falken. Heh.

In all seriousness, I would be more concerned about the threat of an EMP device. No manual override is either going to prevent or provide a quick fix for a complete disruption of a power grid due to the deployment of an EMP device.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by iamjesusphish
 


you are correct that formatting a drive will get rid of all malware and viruses. In order to recover data from a formatted drive you need to use a recovery program. It is of course possible to recover an infected file, but if you are recovering data from an infected PC, you should expect that. Once you f-disk and format a drive if will opperate just like a new one. But the old data is still able to be recovered. There are programs out there that will write zeros to every sector and can give a 99% assurance of a clean drive, but it takes hours to run and seems like a waste of time. I suck at gambling and even at 99% odds, I would be that 1% guy.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:55 AM
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A quick comment directed at the folks asking why these systems were connected to the internet. The logic behind this kind of setup is obvious, they want redundant links between sites without the need to spend ridiculous amounts of money to develop their own massive fiber network that provides such a mesh topology. Consumer fiber is not cheap and the kind you bury in the ground or string up on a pole costs a lot more, so from a financial standpoint I can see why such systems are jacked into the internet (probably using VPNs).

For those who wish to bone up on this topic check out SCADA and then hop over to the Network Security Blog and see if you can find the post where Martin talks about SCADA, because honestly this kind of thing should be keeping people up at night.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by Pr0t0


It's also not true, again AFAIK, that any firewall can be hacked. If a network is behind a DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone) in Networking terms any Firewall present will not only subnet mask the entire network but will be 'off the map' as far as intrusions are concerned. I think - feel free to argue that,

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Pr0t0]


If a network is behind a DMZ it is not firewalled and open to the entire world. DMZ effectively opens all ports (the opposite of a firewall.) It should only be used when troubleshooting a port issue on a single PC. I just wanted to make sure that nobody DMZ's their network thinking that it was safer. Close and lock all your windows and doors. The bad man is out there.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by Sparkey76
 





This is serious man, if they can hack into the grid, what next?
Satelites, defence computers?


you don;t get it...this is the start to ban the internet...
if you ask me .like rockefeller said...national hazzerd No1
this is how they want your permission...

like 911 was to recrute soldiers or london to set up 4.000.000 ccVP CAMS



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by johnsky
 


My question exactly, why would these tards connect the entire power grid to an open, online source?

The reason, the US gov is stupid and trusting. China is preparing for war, they are building a stronger navy then we have. As soon as they see the moment of weakness, they will strike, just like the Japanese.



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