US electricity grid hit by cyber attacks: report

Towers carrying electical lines in South San Francisco, California
Towers carrying electical lines in South San Francisco, California. Chinese and Russian cyber-spies have hacked into the US electricity grid and inserted programs that could be used to disrupt the system, a report said.

Chinese and Russian cyber-spies have hacked into the US electricity grid and inserted programs that could be used to disrupt the system, a report said Wednesday.

Quoting unidentified intelligence sources and homeland security officials, the Wall Street Journal said cyber-spies penetrated the system repeatedly last year, without disrupting it.

"The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid," the paper said quoting a senior intelligence official, and "so have the Russians."

Officials fear bugs have been sown in the system and could be used to disrupt the vital networks at a time of war or crisis.

Cybersecurity is seen by the as a major vulnerability, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano naming it as one of at least 12 areas up for rapid policy review since she took office in January.

There are increasing fears that hackers could hijack computer systems which run critical infrastructure facilities, such as , controlling them remotely and causing chaos inside the United States.


Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook!
Follow PhysOrg.com on Twitter!

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further

Top US cybersecurity official quits

Citation: US electricity grid hit by cyber attacks: report (2009, April 8) retrieved 16 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-electricity-grid-cyber.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 09, 2009
And of course, spam and botnets have nothing to do with this. When will the spam menace be taken seriously?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more