RealNews

The worm at the heart of the Big Apple

A fifth of the US lost power last week, while millions of PCs around the world got attacked by worms. Are the two connected? As silence descended on the blacked-out eastern seaboard of the US last week, one sound could clearly be heard. Internet backbone companies were slapping each other on the back. Despite the loss of the most fundamental motor in our civilised society, the Net continued to run perfectly. But now, some are asking whether the Net was the prime source of the problem — did a computer attack bring down the grid? It might seem like a conspiracy theory par excellence; an attempt to shift the responsibility for the outage anywhere but the power companies. The search for someone to blame has already pointed the finger at the poor old Canadians (for being connected at the time) and us British (for owning some of the companies concerned): when none of that stuck the old standby of “outdated transmission systems” was rolled out. Such words produce a picture of rusty old pylons and sagging cables: unwelcome, but easy to fix. Now, evidence is gathering that the antiquated systems aren’t so much the cables and switchgear but the computerised monitoring, control and alarm systems that string everything together — and the ordinary computer networks they rely on. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.