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Hackers break into American utility control system

Hackers break into American utility control system
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Hackers are everywhere. They've compromised Target, Michaels, and even eBay. Now, it looks like they got into our utilities.

The Department of Homeland Security says a sophisticated hacking group attacked a U.S. public utility and its control network. The government didn't identify the utility. It's up to us to guess which one.

Although hackers got into the system, it doesn't appear they did anything while there, the Department of Homeland Security says. I find this hard to believe, really.

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, said the utility probably had been hacked before, but didn't say anything more about that. Again, we have more silence.

The agency said the hackers may have launched the latest attack through an Internet portal that enabled workers to access the utility's control systems. It said the system used a simple password mechanism that could be compromised using a technique known as "brute forcing," where hackers digitally force their way in by trying various password combinations.

Imagine waking up one morning with no power. Cellphones can't connect, banks are closed, the Internet is down and credit cards don't work.

In localized emergencies, workers from other areas help to restore services quickly. A cyberattack could affect wide regions of the country, overwhelming the available manpower.

How prepared are you for a cyberattack? Do you have enough money and supplies on-hand? Who will be in charge of pulling your family together? Is there one point of contact? This is the topic of one of USA Today columns that you can read here.

Do you think a cyberattack is imminent? Click here to comment with your thoughts.

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Source: Reuters
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