Russian hackers behind first successful US SCADA system attack

November 22, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire, Incidents
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Russian hackers are reported to have been behind an attack on a water utility station in Springfield, Illinois, earlier this month, destroying a pump after gaining unauthorized access to the system.

As reportedly previously SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – systems are often used for protecting critical national infrastructure platforms such as energy and telecommunications grids. The systems are usually based around an embedded and robust version of Windows, which makes them resilient against most malware.

The Reuters newswire suggests that the hackers gained access to the systems of a vendor of SCADA control systems and then used the knowledge gained – possibly tapping the use of default IDs and password – to attack and destroy the Illinois water pump system.

“The pump was apparently remotely activated and burnt out, though redundant systems meant no impact was felt by residents of the town”, notes the newswire.

Various agencies – including the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI – are all reportedly investigating the attack.

via Infosecurity, continued here.