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NSA Director: China can damage US power grid
#1
NSA Director: China can damage US power grid
Published November 20, 2014
FoxNews.com Fox News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

US power grid increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats


WASHINGTON – The head of the NSA issued a blunt warning Thursday to lawmakers: China can shut down the United States.

The grim forecast came from Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S .Cyber Command.

Rogers said he believed China along with “one or two” other countries had the capability to successfully launch a cyber-attack that could shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/...ower-grid/
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#2
Why do people think China would even want to do such a thing? We're their cash cow.

Justin
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#3
I don't understand the point of these types of articles anyway. What is the purpose of any article trying to scare us about what another country *could* do?
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#4
To feed the military industrial complex. As long as the boogey man is out to get us, the machine can keep running off of the fears and stupidity of the average American voter.

Justin
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#5
JustinHEMI;157001 Wrote:To feed the military industrial complex. As long as the boogey man is out to get us, the machine can keep running off of the fears and stupidity of the average American voter.

Justin

QFT.

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I enjoy every minute of it.
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#6
JustinHEMI;157001 Wrote:To feed the military industrial complex. As long as the boogey man is out to get us, the machine can keep running off of the fears and stupidity of the average American voter.

Justin
An article like this is to show the "stupid American voter" how vulnerable the grid (which sustains our current way of life) really is and that protecting it has been sadly neglected.
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
Having worked directly with SCADA systems, and having seen some real vulnerabilities first hand, there is no doubt that our systems are woefully under protected.

I know I wrote before about a Co-Gen site that I visited that had huge gaping holes in the way security was handled. Someone sitting outside of the site could easily connect to their network, get access directly to a SCADA panel there that also had direct access to the main network via a WAN connection at the site.

Too many times security is replaced by convenience because the people working on site, or those setting up the site can't see how vulnerable things really are.

Many SCADA systems will receive commands from a remote without knowing if that command came from a authorized system. Basically there's no authorization handshake between the controller and the commander. This allows someone to play MiTM once they're inside an easily compromise network. Most SCADA commands are still sent in plain text.

This problem has indeed been ignored for at least 15 years, and it probably isn't going to get any better because the manufacturers of the SCADA equipment isn't doing much to improve. Instead they're relying upon other methods to ensure security. Firewalls and Air gaps only get you so far.
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#8
It isn't just the power grid that can cause chaos if it's taken over by an attack. Fresh water and waste water plants rely extensively upon SCADA systems to keep their processes flowing. You may not be concerned so much about waste water, because most people don't give them much of a thought. But if someone shuts down one of the larger pump stations that collects large amounts of the flow, that would cause a back up in the system across the entire area it services. You could effectively have shit flowing out of manholes in the streets.

Consider what could be done at a fresh water plant, if someone were to change the dosage of chlorine into the outflow and injected their own sensor readings so that the SCADA system doesn't trigger an alarm. These kinds of things are indeed possible, because these plants are manned by few people and they rely upon the SCADA system to alert them when there's problems. If the SCADA system doesn't tell them the dosage changed, it wouldn't be noticed until the phones started to ring.

I'm not familiar with how the systems are integrated into the Natural gas pipelines, so I can't really say how that could be interfered with, but I'm sure there's a way to wreak havoc with that system too.
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#9
Yes and I'm sure we would just sit idly by and say "oh well, they got us". Are the Chinese communists power systems so hardened that they are invulnerable to counter attack? I know the subjugated serfs of the state run power grid in China really know how to put the K in Quality but I think there's a certain amount of detente at work here.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#10
Rik Bitter;157119 Wrote:Are the Chinese communists power systems so hardened that they are invulnerable to counter attack?

We are universally passive when it comes to such things.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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