The weapon used to carry out the next deadly terrorist attack could be a computer. Cybercriminals have hit our nation's power grid. I'm not talking about just once, but multiple times. And the number of attacks is increasing.
Government officials released the Congressional Research Service Report, or CRS report, this month and the number of attacks on our homeland power grids is astonishing. And power grids aren't the only thing that the report says are in danger. Our entire infrastructure is at risk, according to the CRS report.
"The increasing frequency of cyber intrusions on industrial control systems of critical infrastructure is a trend of concern to the electric utility industry," the report says.
"The National Security Agency reported that it has seen intrusions into [industrial control] systems by entities with the apparent technical capability 'to take down control systems that operate U.S. power grids, water systems and other critical infrastructure,'" it continues.
This means that one day hackers will be able to crack the code into major U.S. resource facilities like power plants, water purification buildings and other systems with ease and remotely take over the way these operations are doled out.
These sneaky hackers are good at covering their tracks, too. The report explains that they use a program called BlackEnergy to break into systems, steal information and wipe the system completely if and when they are discovered.
Here's what the report had to say about BlackEnergy:
"Hackers are reported to have used the BlackEnergy Trojan horse to deliver plug-in modules used for several purposes, including keylogging, audio recording, and grabbing screenshots. Researchers looking at the BlackEnergy malware are reported to have identified a plug-in that can destroy hard disks, and believe that the attackers will activate the module once they are discovered in order to hide their presence."
This is scary, but it's not the first time we've heard about a major government breach. I've kept you updated on the recent hack that took over the Office of Personnel Management's system, but this type of attack could be forgotten once more hackers learn that our infrastructure is as unprotected as this report states.
Let me know what you think about this frightening new type of hacking by leaving me a comment below.