~*~*CyberTerror Warning*~*~
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  1. #1
    Forgotten Ghost RogueSpy's Avatar
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    ~*~*CyberTerror Warning*~*~

    FBI Issues Water Supply Cyberterror Warning

    Al-Qaida terrorists have scoured the Web for information on the computerized systems that control water distribution and treatment, NIPC warns.
    By Kevin Poulsen
    Jan 30 2002 2:14PM PT


    Members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network have sought information on the Web about the networks that U.S. utility companies use to remotely control water supply distribution and treatment systems, according to a bulletin issued by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) Wednesday.

    "U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have received indications that Al-Qaida members have sought information on Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems available on multiple SCADA-related Web sites," reads the bulletin. "They specifically sought information on water supply and wastewater management practices in the U.S. and abroad."

    SCADA systems allow utility companies and municipalities to monitor and direct equipment at unmanned facilities from a central location. Dedicated communications channels link a control center to hundreds of "remote terminal units," which in turn control water pumps and other equipment.

    The NIPC bulletin went to some 3,000 members of the center's InfraGard program, an information-sharing partnership between the NIPC and private industry.

    An FBI spokesman emphasized that the bulletin is not a full blown alert. "It just says be on the lookout," says FBI supervisory special agent Steven Berry. "There's some information that suggests that they [al-Qaida] are looking at this... There are potential interests in water supplies, and other infrastructures."

    Automated water supply control systems have long been a subject of concern from U.S. infrastructure protection specialists, who fear that they could be hacked by foreign governments or terrorists. A 1997 report by the Clinton administration's Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection noted, "Cyber vulnerabilities include the increasing reliance on SCADA systems for control of the flow and pressure of water supplies."

    If terrorists are able to penetrate such a system, the danger could extend beyond merely interrupting water flow.

    "If they had the time to infiltrate and get the knowledge, certainly they could create havoc," says Brian Brewer, a senior engineer at ECS Engineering, a Pacific Northwest company that specializes in building SCADA systems for water utilities. "Other than turning pumps off, typically there are chemicals that are injected, like chlorine or fluoride. If you overdose any of that into a water system, it can affect it, and you can hurt people."

    But Brewer says such an attack is far-fetched, and would require much more specialized knowledge than could be obtained from surfing the Web. "It would be a lot harder than learning to fly a plane," says Brewer. Moreover, while some utilities have moved their SCADA monitoring to the Internet, the far more critical control channels remain on dedicated leased lines and radio links that are not as easily accessed remotely.

    "Breaking into where a water source exists, and physically dropping whatever the contaminate would be, is the real concern," Brewer says.

    In addition to the cyber terror warning, the NIPC bulletin noted al-Qaida interest in "insecticides and pest control products at several Web sites."

    Also according to the bulletin, a computer belonging to a bin Laden associate was found to contain structural architecture computer programs, including AutoCAD, CATIGE, Microstran and BEAM, "that suggested the individual was interested in structural engineering as it related to dams and other water-retaining structures."

    The same unnamed individual had a program used to identify soil types using the Unified Soil Classification System, according to the bulletin.

    Earlier this month the NIPC issued a public advisory urging organizations to review what critical infrastructure-related information is available on their public Web sites, after the center "received reporting that infrastructure related information, available on the Internet, is being accessed from sites around the world."
    "Never give in-never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy!" - Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Good heads up. Hasn't this already been addressed? Tighter security, etc. etc.??
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

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    Forgotten Ghost RogueSpy's Avatar
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    Not that I remember. . . I checked before I posted it to make sure. . . . might have looked over it or something. . . . This article just came out today though.
    "Never give in-never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy!" - Winston Churchill

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    Well guess US will remain a large target for the time being. Holland will remain unharmed in the future.
    But then again, Holland has been a safe haven for these terrorist quite some time. No wonder Osama mentioned Holland in his video.
    Besides, the governmet released many illegal Algerian terrorists who have allready taken off to the next European country.

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    I hope your right about holland remaining unharmed, and in, fact, the rest of europe too.

    I wonder if we'l catch them before it's too late.

    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

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    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Supprised it took this long for a warning about hacking into water companies. Soon it will be electrical, nuclear, etc etc. Why not just say that the al-Qaida is looking to hack the IS.

    I think that Brewer has proven himself an idiot though:
    But Brewer says such an attack is far-fetched, and would require much more specialized knowledge than could be obtained from surfing the Web.
    The only problem might be finding the commands to control the water supply. Unless every water company has actually secured their systems properly, which even the government can't do, then Brewer is out in left field.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

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    Originally posted by gold eagle
    I hope your right about holland remaining unharmed, and in, fact, the rest of europe too.

    I wonder if we'l catch them before it's too late.

    I believe Paris and England are at higher risk.
    But then again Europe is piled with Muslim immigrants, the government has a hard time sorting things out.

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    Yeah you're right about Paris. It was jammed with people from that part of the world. We sometimes had trouble getting seats in some cafes. Then again, many of the smaller ones are now run by Algerian immigrants.
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

  9. #9
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    They have somewhere to congregate. The EU. Nice vacation spot for terrorists bound ultimately for the U.S.

    Kinda makes you wonder.......
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

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    Talking ... anything is easy ....

    . "It would be a lot harder than learning to fly a plane," says Brewer. Moreover, while some utilities have moved their SCADA monitoring to the Internet, the far more critical control channels remain on dedicated leased lines and radio links that are not as easily accessed remotely.
    And what makes it so hard to tap into "dedicated leased lines" which are switched between carriers or to tap into "radio links" when a laptop with a pcmcia card and frequency scanning software can just camp out until it latches onto a link.

    To learn to fly a plane, I would have to learn all sorts of stuff I'm not interested in....it's a matter of perspective and this bearaucrat is not standing high enough to get a global perspective. "Anything is easy...once you know how."
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