From Stiennon (here) via Hoff (here) – 2 dudes who go together like peas and carrots – turns out hackers broke into energy utilities and disrupted power in multiple cities as part of an extortion scheme (here)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers literally turned out the lights in multiple cities after breaking into electrical utilities and demanding extortion payments before disrupting the power, a senior CIA analyst told utility engineers at a trade conference.
All the break-ins occurred outside the United States, said senior CIA analyst Tom Donahue. The U.S. government believes some of the hackers had inside knowledge to cause the outages. Donahue did not specify what countries were affected, when the outages occurred or how long the outages lasted. He said they happened in “several regions outside the United States.”
“In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities,” Donahue said in a statement. “We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.”
Is there any doubt that our reliance on digital technology for command and control of everything from chemical processing plants to airplane routing and scheduling to managing our energy utilities opens up the possibility for remote attacks which could result in service disruptions or lead to loss of life? If a 14 year old can derail a train system (here), and the US military faces ongoing and in some cases significant intrusions (here) why do we keep pretending that our critical infrastructure (transportation, energy utilities, financial services, emergency response, etc) is not vulnerable to a significant and coordinated digital attack?