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Online attack caused City Blackout says CIA

In the same week that the FBI issued (opens in new tab) a warning about the online dangers of Vishing, the US Central Intelligence Agency, has made public the fat that hackers have successfully build an attack that has disrupted "power equipment" and literally shut down cities, though none of them were in the United states.

In this example of cyber-attack (opens in new tab), CIA senior analyst Tom Donahue, said that the organisation has collected evidence of blackmailing in order to prevent further disruptions.

"We have information, from multiple regions outside the US, of cyber-intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands," said Donahue. "We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge."

One possible scenario could be that the hackers had successfully compromised a user's computer through an infected email or website.

Distributed Denial of Service that affects popular - and cash-rich - online retailers has been an issue that has all but disappeared from the web as vendors stepped up and devised smarter and more effective ways of tackling DDoS attacks.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.