Foreign Spies Penetrate US Power Grid, Planning Cyber Attacks?

Foreign cyberspies have reportedly infiltrated the US electrical grid and planted backdoor software that could result in several potential damages in future, according to the reports from The Wall Street Journal(WSJ).

The report claimed that cyberspies from China, Russia and few other countries had breached the US electrical grid and have installed malicious software that can inflict damages to a variety of systems, including power plants as well as water treatment plants.

However, the intruders haven’t caused any sort of damages yet, but the US intelligence officials are concerned that this may be used during war or other such crisis situations.

The WSJ quoted an unnamed senior security official saying, “The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid. So have the Russians”.

In addition to the electrical grid, other infrastructure, such as water and sewage systems, of the country is also at potential risk of the intrusion, the report claimed.

Cybersecurity of the systems has been one of the most critical issues for the US government, with the government had already spent around $100 million on repair works for the damages caused due to cybersecurity breaches during last six months.

The report has further sparked concerns over the existing loopholes in cybersecurity infrastructure of the country and called for some immediate steps from the government to avoid any damages later.

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Our Comments

As we saw back a few months ago with the onslaught by Russian hackers on the internet infrastructure of the republic of Estonia, cyberattacks are more often than not targetting civil installations that are more likely to be less secured compared to their military counterparts. However, the effects of these attacks can be equally devastating.

Related Links

Report: cyberwarriors probing US electrical grid

(Ars Technica)

Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'

(BBC News)

Chinese and Russian hackers breach US electricity grid

(Vnunet)

Spies hacked US electrical grid, says WSJ

(The Register)

U.S. Electrical Grid Breached By Cyber Spies

(Information Week)

China and Russia hack into US power grid

(Telegraph)