Think of everything that we depend in life that requires electricity— healthcare, food, water, transportation, etc. Now think how long America would survive if it was turned off for a long time.
The mental image should not be pretty. Personally, I’m imagining a scene from “Escape From New York” or “Mad Max.”
Now think if someone had the ability to do that to our country, with the flick of a switch. Imagine that an enemy had implanted malware throughout our power grid that could cause the system to self-destruct.
This is not a dream. This has already happened. It took place in Kiev at the end of last year when a large part of the city was thrown into darkness as the CrashOverride malware caused circuit breakers to pop via computer command.
CrashOverride is a genuine cyber weapon that can map out a power station’s control network and, with minimal human guidance, issue malicious commands directly to critical equipment, reports The Daily Beast.
Someone was using Ukraine as a weapons-testing ground, seeing what the Malware could do. A smaller test was run a year earlier.
Analysts say the code bears to similarities to other techniques used and is therefore not easily traceable. The code could also be used, and is possibly already implanted, in power-control centers across Europe, or the United States. Firms across Europe and North America are currently searching their systems for evidence of the virus.
Robert Lee, CEO of Dragos, the Western firm that is the expert on the threat, said, “What makes this thing a holy crap moment is the understanding of grid operations encoded within it.” What he means is that the malware uses an in-depth understanding and in all candor, a takeover, of the grid’s control system, or SCADA, for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.
“If we haven’t had enough of a wakeup call already, this is it,” said Dragos’ Joe Slowik, who helped analyze the code. “The time is running out until someone either gets lucky or deliberately targets a network that all U.S. citizens care about, instead of saying, ‘Oh, it’s Ukraine who cares.’”
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.