Potential to ‘take down’ U.S. power grids, water systems and other critical infrastructure
Major attacks on the U.S. power grid system are “increasing,” with hackers stepping up efforts to penetrate critical systems and to implant malicious software that could compromise the power grid and result in a nationwide crisis, according to a government report.
While experts have long signaled that the U.S. power grid and related systems are vulnerable to physical attacks by terrorists and other individuals, the U.S. government is now warning that sensitive computer systems that maintain the grid are increasingly being attacked, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that was not made public until the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) disclosed it this month.
The report warns that hackers potentially affiliated with terrorist groups or rogue nations have the ability to insert harmful malware into the internal systems governing the U.S. grid, which increasingly are being hooked into the Internet.
These types of computer viruses are able to comb internal systems for private information in a clandestine manner; they can also be used to wrest control of certain computers away from their owners.