The Wall Street Journal is reporting that cyber spies from Russia, China and other countries have attacked and penetrated the US electrical grid.
The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.
This is most definitely not a bunch of teen age hackers out for a digital joy ride. These countries are preparing a plan of attack.Â Defense departments of influential nationsÂ position troops on borders, carriers at sea, and satellites in space. It would only be natural, that inÂ the modern world, they would also planÂ to attack the commerce and utility infrastrucures of the United States in the event of a geo-political crisis or war.
“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”
The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn’t target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official. “There are intrusions, and they are growing,” the former official said, referring to electrical systems. “There were a lot last year.”
In a March 16, 2009 interview with Bloomberg Television, Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom report, warned:
“I think this economic crisis is very serious and it will end with the next war. In the next war you will not have a conventional war. You will have dirty forces. The hostile forces, they will be called in the West, Terrorists. They will attack major urban centers.”
Prior to this, Faber suggested that one method of attack might be byÂ infiltrating water systems of major urban centers.
Cyber attacks on key networks in the USA couldÂ have disasterous consequencesÂ with the potential to take down cell phone networks, internet data connections, the electrical grid, nuclear power plants, and water treatment facilities.
Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on.”
While cyber attacks may be quickly identified, stopping them would be another matter altogether. Imagine a full force, continuous attack on every critical network in the USA.
It would spark civil unrest, violence and food shortages within a matter of hours.