Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SCADA Watch: Cyber Attacks Against Critical U.S. Networks Rising at Faster Rate

Jill R. Aitoro writes on

The number of cybersecurity attacks against computer networks that operate the nation's critical infrastructure such as transportation systems and water treatment and power plants, has increased dramatically, mostly because these industries rely on legacy technologies that don't protect systems from sophisticated attacks.

In the third quarter, 11 cyber incidents were added to the Repository for Industrial Security Incidents, a database of cybersecurity attacks that have or could have affected systems that operate major industrial operations in the United States. These key networks are known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems. The owners and operators of industrial plants maintain the database.

For all of 2009, industries have added 35 incidents to RISI, representing more than 20 percent of the 164 incidents recorded since 1982. The total number of incidents in the database could increase 37 percent this year if trends continue at the current rate, according to RISI's third-quarter report, which was released on Nov. 30.

Malicious software such as viruses, worms and Trojans were the cause of most cyberattacks, according to the report. Incidents involving unauthorized access or sabotage by people working for the company such as disgruntled former employees or contractors also increased.

More here.


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