Update, Wednesday: In a video, Anonymous has said the idea that they would take down power grids is “ludicrous.” Watch the full video.
Last week, we launched a weekly feature derived from complicated algorithms, a rigorous scientific formula and, occasionally, a blogger’s mood swings: BlogPost’s “Comment of the Week.”
The winning comment last time was a Jeremy Lin limerick, but this week our commenters got a bit more serious. A post Wednesday warning that the hacker group Anonymous could take down the U.S. power grid within a couple of years garnered dozens of comments.
This one, left by information technology specialist Daniel Haley, struck us as particularly intriguing:
The majority of computer users lack basic computer privacy and security knowledge that can protect them from groups like Anonymous.
I believe the NSA is right and maybe even overestimating the time it would take for Anonymous to have this capability.
I had the opportunity to analyze threats to a large U.S. power grid company's SCADA gateways. These gateways provided access to the computers that manage the power grid.
The bottom line is the power grid is at the mercy of the education and knowledge employees have about computer privacy and security. The most likely route to gaining control of the power grids is by getting control of an employee's computer.