Blackout caused by computer problems
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Thread: Blackout caused by computer problems

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Blackout caused by computer problems

    I received the following off the Full Disclosure list. Makes me wonder if a worm or deliberate attack is the final cause.

    You can find the DOE report here: http://energy.gov/engine/content.do?...TLIGHTDOCUMENT

    ~~~~~~~~~~~ Key Events ~~~~~~~~~~~

    The first computer failure was to logging and alarm systems.

    14:14 EDT: The control room operators lost the logging and alarm function.
    14:20 EDT: Several remote location console failed
    14:41 EDT: The primary control system server hosting the alarm function failed/ Its applications and functions were passed over to a backup server that was standing by.
    14:54 EDT: The back-up computer failed, and all functions that were running on it stopped.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    A little bit further to this (had to run off for breakfast). It appears that there also might have been user error (due to lack of training). The fact that operators didn't realize that equipment wasn't updating information correctly pretty much started it but once the effect reached a certain size they couldn't stop it (sorta like the cartoon snowball rolling down the hill).

    Might be a worthwhile wake-up call that money needs to be put in place to train people as well as upgrade necessary monitoring equipment.
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    I really do hope these people were bright enough not to connect critical systems like these up to the Internet. If they did, they're just asking for trouble...

    alpha

  4. #4
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    9-1-1 systems were affected by Sapphire last year. (that is, they were Internet accessible). I believe these are also Internet accessible. While we really don't want them to connect them I suspect they did/are.
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  5. #5
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    this reminds me of a quote i saw once (althought i can't remember the author), " the only secure box (or system in this case) is one that is not connected to anything, encased in 12 inch thick steal, locked with chains, and buryed in concrete, even then its still not totally secure" thought that was pretty humerous, not to mention somewhat true
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  6. #6
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by Alphaflux
    this reminds me of a quote i saw once (althought i can't remember the author), " the only secure box (or system in this case) is one that is not connected to anything, encased in 12 inch thick steal, locked with chains, and buryed in concrete, even then its still not totally secure" thought that was pretty humerous, not to mention somewhat true
    LOL, I could put Magnets all around that, screwing the PC inside, and then set the safe on fire. Regaurdless of what type of steele it is, after a few hours of burning, anything inside would melt.
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  7. #7
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    Hmmm .... that all happened in a pretty quick sequence. Since it started at about 1400, that would relate to the post-lunch nappy time. Operator brain function probably wasn't registering that something was going wrong until after the complete failure at almost 1500.

  8. #8
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Is it just a coincidence that 1 week later in France (and a good portion of england), they had the same type of power failure at approximately 9am EST (1400 their time...)
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
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  9. #9
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    Hmmm ... lends a bit of credence to the theory of a worm, but could be a worm that was configured by someone who didn't understand GMT.

  10. #10
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    Sorry to bring back an old thread, but I thought some might still be interested in ongoing investigation.

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4253189/

    The failures occurred when multiple systems trying to access the same information at once got the equivalent of busy signals
    ...probably spyware

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