via Tampa Bay Online
In March of this year, a large Southern California water system tested the effectiveness of its cyber defenses by hiring a cybersecurity team to try to hack its network, something called penetration testing. To official dismay, the team was able to seize control of the computers that add chemical treatments to the drinking water of Los Angeles. If they had been real attackers, they could have rendered the water poisonous, likely killing many people and causing a major disaster. How long did it take them to get in? One day.
The nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources are the very foundation on which the nation operates. They include electricity generation and distribution, gas and oil production and distribution, telecommunications, water supply, agriculture, heating, public health, transportation, financial services and security services. The government classifies them as critical because incapacitation or degraded operation of these assets would pose significant economic consequences or even loss of life.