14 December 2006 | 16,712 views

Hackers Break Into Water Processing Plant Network

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When things like this happen it’s kinda of scary, like a while back when someone managed to get into a highly secure power station network through a stupid contractors laptop that was connected to the net via dialup and to the uber ‘secure’ power station LAN.

An infected laptop PC gave hackers access to computer systems at a Harrisburg, Pa., water treatment plant earlier this month.

The plant’s systems were accessed in early October after an employee’s laptop computer was compromised via the Internet and then used as an entry point to install a computer virus and spyware on the plant’s computer system, according to a report by ABC News.

Similar to the power station incident eh?

Can’t people just take a little care and lock down all the machines on the network, install Firefox, install Anti-virus, enable Windows updates etc.

The incident is under investigation by the FBI, but no arrests have been made in the matter, said Special Agent Jerri Williams of the FBI’s Philadelphia office. The attackers are believed to have been operating outside of the U.S.

Williams said that the hackers do not appear to have targeted the plant. “We did not believe that they were doing it to compromise the actual water system, but just to use the computer as a resource for distributing e-mails or whatever electronic information they had planned,” she said.

It could have had some serious consequences on the water processing system.

Still, the FBI is concerned that even without targeting the system itself, this malicious software could have interfered with the plant’s operations, Williams said.

Had the breach targeted the water plant, it could have had grave consequences, according to Mike Snyder, security coordinator for the Pennsylvania section of the American Water Works Association. “It’s a serious situation because they could possibly raise the level of chlorine being injected into the water… which

Seems like security is still not as important as it should be.

Source: ComputerWorld





                

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