Russian Strike on Illinois
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  • Kenny

    ” …but he (or she) allegedly hacked a second water control system in South Houston using only a three-character password.”

    Spare us the political correctness. Hackers are male to probably a +6 sigma level.

  • Luke Lea

    Well, then, how safe are we, really? Is that a top secret?

  • Kris

    I was wondering what Ron Paul has to say about this, but then I remembered that once the US withdraws from the world, no one could possibly wish it ill.

  • These are some low-hanging fruits, though. 3-character passwords? Most of my class could’ve figured out that permutation in 1985 using BASIC on the Commodore PET in our elementary school. There are just some very simple best practices that need to be implemented across most of our sensitive infrastructure—best practices which are akin to locking your front door when you leave the house.

  • Soul

    That isn’t good, and is a bit frightening that the water supply was turned off in Illinois by hackers half way across the globe. That is one thing i recall about living in Illinois, frequent boil orders. No reasons would be given, just warnings on TV that a boil order was in effect over the area due to some issue where pollutants could have entered the water. I’ve heard many complain about it, the main being that we’re suppose to be a top world location, and yet find ourselves needing to boil water.

  • Jordan

    Yup, I guess they’ll have to hire more software engineers. Oh wait, there are none. They are too busy building iOS and Android apps, or building web sites (yup, still need those), or working for a social media company, or writing software to fully digitize finance, or….

  • John Burke

    Can someone more tech savvy than I tell me why computer systems used to control water, electricity and other critical infrastructure need to be connected to the Internet at all? Why are they not standalone systems? Is it because someone is too cheap to wire them? Not incidentally, my understanding is that the Iran nuclear systems disabled by the Stuxnet were not accessed via the Internet but either through viruses hidden in the equipment purchased from Germany or a laptop that was plugged into the Iran system or both.

  • Jules

    I was wondering what Ron Paul has to say about this, but then I remembered that once the US withdraws from the world, no one could possibly wish it ill.

    Yeah Kris, better keep attacking Arab countries to ensure Russian hackers don’t come after you. LOL!

  • Updated news: The FBI says the pump failed, it wasn’t hacked. The person who released the story may have been trying to divert blame. http://www.techspot.com/news/46407-fbi-says-hackers-not-responsible-for-illinois-water-pump-failure.html

  • Some Sock Puppet

    Hypothetically speaking: That would be an act of war. but since we don’t, you know, seem to respond to them such as an embassay takeover and hostages held for 400 days or so…

    Why would any power NOT attack the US?

  • “Can someone more tech savvy than I tell me why computer systems used to control water, electricity and other critical infrastructure need to be connected to the Internet at all?”

    Cost, convenience, COTS (commercial off the shelf). The utility can maintain a network that lets them communicate with every pump station etc., or they can let the various internet backbone vendors take care of that, while they focus on making sure the pumps work. Which is easier when you can quickly check on all your pumps, and set up routines to call you if there is a problem.

    How much are YOU willing to pay to get water?

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