Homeland Security Simulates Cyber Attack on Power Grid

Susan Hall

A video obtained by The Associated Press shows a test conducted in March by the Department of Homeland Security that shows a simulated hacker attack on a power station in which a huge turbine shudders, pieces fly off and it belches smoke until it dies.


The attack exploited a programming vulnerability in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, the computer systems that control electric, water and chemical plants throughout the United States, according to the AP story on Newsvine.com.


Wired points to a 2002 Washington Post story that members of al Qaeda had explored vulnerabilities in SCADA systems to conduct such attacks on utilities.


Malicious hackers have never pulled off such an exploit, according to Homeland Security, and the vulnerability has been fixed. But it called for closer monitoring of such systems.

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