Cyberattacks

America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door

1/10/19
from The Wall Street Journal,
1/10/19:

A Wall Street Journal reconstruction of the worst known hack into the nation’s power system reveals attacks on hundreds of small contractors.

One morning in March 2017, Mike Vitello’s work phone lighted up. Customers wanted to know about an odd email they had just received. What was the agreement he wanted signed? Where was the attachment? Mr. Vitello had no idea what they were talking about. The Oregon construction company where he works, All-Ways Excavating USA, checked it out. The email was bogus, they told Mr. Vitello’s contacts. Ignore it. Then, a few months later, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security dispatched a team to examine the company’s computers. You’ve been attacked, a government agent told Mr. Vitello’s colleague, Dawn Cox. Maybe by Russians. They were trying to hack into the power grid. “They were intercepting my every email,” Mr. Vitello says. “What the hell? I’m nobody.” “It’s not you. It’s who you know,” says Ms. Cox.

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