Power Plants in the US under Cyber Attack

Symantec has revealed that a dozen of power companies in the US were subjected to hacking. This happened in the last nine months, and some of the sabotage had the ability of interfering with production as well as distribution. The principal research manager at Symantec known as Vikram Thakur said that some of the breaches consisted of details about the equipment used, engineering plans as well as details about how these plants operate. Some cases were serious as the hackers accessed how to control the plants in terms of conveyer belts, pipes as well as valves. Details about these intrusions were revealed on the company’s website last week on Wednesday. The research manager said that some of the unauthorized access could have caused serious impacts on these power plants. He said that some of the plants could have been knocked out of operations for a day or two. In some cases, the plants could have been knocked out for months. The company said that the hackers concentrated on companies that specialized in the generation of power, transmission as well as the distribution of the power. Brenner Joel who currently works as a senior researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that these attacks should not be seen as surprise attacks. It is something that had been anticipated. Brenner once worked with the US Counterintelligence as the director of National Intelligence. This was between 2006 and 2008.

Also, from 2009-2010, he worked with the National Security Agency as the inspector general. According to experts, the hackers want to demonstrate that the US is vulnerable especially in the cities. This way, President Trump will have to rethink before he can take a military action in any country. The hackers have demonstrated that they could darken the US cities. Experts speculate that the hackers could be Russians. In the past, some countries such as Ukraine have been subjected to black outs after their power grid was hacked by Russians. Approximately 200,000 people were left in darkness. Symantec refers to the attack as proof of concept. For starters, this is a confirmation that any organization or government is under the watch of the hackers and could be penetrated at any time. Claroty co-founder Galina Antova also emphasized that this might be a proof of concept. The company specializes in the provision of industrial control networks. As for the Department of Homeland Security, they acknowledged that they had been notified about the report and they were reviewing it.