Are Power Plants Vulnerable To Hackers?

Actually, I think they’ve already been hacked.  Two or three years ago, there was a string of “incidents” at nuclear power plants in several different countries within days of each other (as in, several per day, per country).  When you read why these plants were shut down, all of them were due to a “mysterious condition” that caused issues with the controlling equipment.

If you’ve seen this video about the diesel generator being hacked and destroying itself, this starts to make more sense.  The infrastructure of the power plants, and for that matter all of the US utilities, is so outdated and antiquated that it would be more surprising if hackers hadn’t already infiltrated them.

 

[From The US Is Investigating Claims That Power Plants Are Vulnerable To Hackers – Business Insider ]
Cooling TowersThe U.S. government is looking into claims by a cyber security researcher that flaws in software for specialized networking equipment from Siemenscould enable hackers to attack power plants and other critical systems.

Justin W. Clarke, an expert in securing industrial control systems, disclosed at a conference in Los Angeles on Friday that he had figured out a way to spy on traffic moving through networking equipment manufactured by Siemens’ RuggedCom division.

The Department of Homeland Security said in an alert released on Tuesday that it had asked RuggedCom to confirm the vulnerability that Clarke, a 30-year-old security expert who has long worked in the electric utility field, had identified and identify steps to mitigate its impact.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we’ve been hacked, so please don’t be one of those people that start spreading false rumors.  This is purely speculation on my part.  What matters is what their intentions are.  Uber-geeks out for a thrill or state-sponsored terrorism?

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