Cyber-spies Hack into US Electrical Grid by Installing Malware
According to the US-based international daily the Wall Street Journal, the country's electricity grid has been infected with malware that could potentially cause disruption of the system or stop power transmission.
Authorities believe the cyber-spies were aiming to bring the US electrical grid under their control. Although till now there has been no damage to the particular system or any other infrastructure within the country, the hack appears to have spread everywhere, according to the report.
Moreover, the security professionals state that there is a possibility that the attacker's software could be put to malicious use during war.
Although it appears that the cyber spying hasn't targeted any particular region or company, the experts are still concerned. The attackers could potentially manipulate their unauthorized access to bring under their control, the electricity system or other infrastructures like a nuclear plant, from a remote place through the Web.
Moreover, the Journal notes that the malicious software has its origin in Russia, China and other countries. However, one can't find out if the attack has the government support, as it is difficult to trace actual identities on the Internet.
The security specialists state it is also possible that the cyber criminals intend to attack other systems like sewage, water etc., primarily to cause a wide scale infrastructure disturbance or breakdown.
However, the US authorities are taking steps to remedy the issue by extensively scrutinizing the security and strength of the country's cyber systems that regulate the electricity system, under an all-inclusive cyber-security examination.
Thus, there is a strong warning from the security specialists about the urgency to safeguard vulnerable infrastructure. They have also said that the news point to the large amount of security threat associated with any project that can be accessed online.
Agreeing with this, Paul Ferguson, Senior Threat Researcher at Trend Micro, said putting any sensitive network online means exposing it to security hazards, as reported by ChannelWeb on April 8, 2009. Ferguson added the same kind of spyware could now also trap any of the other US systems connected to the Net.
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» SPAMfighter News - 13-04-2009