U.S. Water Supply System Under Cyber Attack, FBI & DHS is Investigating

Hackers from Russia have has allegedly remotely intruded into the industrial control systems of a hydroelectric power plant in the US state of Illinois. Reports in the US media say that the hacker managed to repeatedly switch the pump on and off, destroying it in the process. This would be the first time that parts of a country's critical infrastructure have been successfully attacked and crippled via the internet.
Although the FBI and DHS started to investigate the incident, they initially downplayed the risk – this provoked the alleged hacker, "prof", who proceeded to intrude into a second water utility in Houston, Texas. To prove his intrusion, he released five screenshots of the utility's SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system. 

After an investigation it was determined the system had been hacked into from a computer in Russia, the Washington Post reports.
An Illinois state fusion centre report on the attack said it is not known how many other systems might be affected.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that a water plant in Springfield, Illinois, had been damaged. He said: 'DHS and the FBI are gathering facts surrounding the report of a water pump failure in Springfield, Illinois.
'At this time there is no credible corroborated data that indicates a risk to critical infrastructure entities or a threat to public safety.'
A report from the Illinois terrorism and intelligence center said there had been problems with the system in Springfield for two to three months.
The system 'would power on and off, resulting in the burnout of a water pump,' the report said.
It added that cyber attackers broke into a software company’s database and got hold of user names and passwords of various control systems that run water plant computer equipment. The method used, hacking a security company to gain entry to another company, was employed earlier this year by cyber attackers in China.
They stole data from RSA, a division of EMC that provides secure remote computer access to government agencies. They then went on to get into the computer systems of companies, including Lockheed Martin.


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