China and Russia have planted malware in the US electrical grid that could shut down service in a time of crisis or war.
Computer World reported:
Cyperspies from China, Russia and elsewhere have gained access to the U.S. electrical grid and installed malware tools that could be used to shut down service, according to a story published today by The Wall Street Journal.
Thus far, the attackers haven’t used their access to damage the electrical grid, but the cyberespionage appears to be “pervasive,” the Journal reported, citing anonymous national security officials. Federal officials are worried that the cyberspies could use their access to try to shut down the grid or take control of power plants during a time of crisis or war, the story said.
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Many of the intrusions, which for now appear to be aimed mostly at mapping the domestic power grid, were discovered not by electric utilities but by U.S. intelligence agencies, the story added.
The cyberspies have left behind software tools that could be used to destroy components of the grid, one intelligence official told the Journal. “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on,” that official was quoted as saying.