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Massive Power Outages In Brazil Caused By Hackers

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the mongering-engine-warming-up dept.

Security 462

Hugh Pickens writes "CBS reports on 60 minutes that a massive two-day power outage in Brazil's Espirito Santo State affecting more than three million people in 2007, and another, smaller event in three cities north of Rio de Janeiro in January 2005, were perpetrated by hackers manipulating control systems. Former Chief of US National Intelligence Retired Adm. Mike McConnell says that the 'United States is not prepared for such an attack' and believes it could happen in America. 'If I were an attacker and wanted to do strategic damage to the United States, I would either take the cold of winter or the heat of summer,' says McConnell, 'I would probably sack electric power on the US East Coast, maybe the West Coast and attempt to cause a cascading effect.' Congressman Jim Langevin says that US power companies need to be forced to deal with the issue after they told Congress they would take steps to defend their operations but did not follow up. 'They admit that they misled Congress. The private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. Their bottom line is about profits,' says Langevin. 'We need to change their motivation so that when see vulnerability like this, we can require them to fix it.' McConnell adds that a similar attack to the one in Brazil is poised to take place on US soil and that it may take some horrific event to get the country focused on shoring up cyber security. 'If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. I hope we don't get there.'"

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462 comments

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026864)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027104)

Why can't slashdot filter these posts with keywords?

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (2, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027150)

Are you suggesting censorship? I think the current modding system does the trick in most cases, but if you'd like I'm sure a slashdot.cn can be arranged.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027244)

Because the remedy for bad speech is more speech. Censorship is never justified. If a post gives you the vapors, stop reading it. A free society is one where it's perfectly fine to stand on a soapbox and make a fool of yourself. I'd like Slashdot to stay as free as possible.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027574)

A free society is one where it's perfectly fine to stand on a soapbox and make a fool of yourself. I'd like Slashdot to stay as free as possible.

By that standard, slashdot is the epitome of freedom. With emphasis on the 'pit'. 8^)

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027338)

Who would decide which ones are "these posts"? Personally, I think that any pro-linux post should be removed, so maybe I should be the one deciding.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (1, Insightful)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027496)

Why can't people stop biting on lame cut'n'paste trolls?

THE TRUTH!! DO NOT MOD DOWN!! +5 INFORMATIVE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026900)

Imagine a giant penis flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Slashdot is like.

Re:THE TRUTH!! DO NOT MOD DOWN!! +5 INFORMATIVE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027048)

Imagine a giant penis flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Slashdot is like.

Any penis that manages to get in my mouth is going to be bitten off. Problem solved.

Re:THE TRUTH!! DO NOT MOD DOWN!! +5 INFORMATIVE (0, Offtopic)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027236)

Any penis that manages to get in my mouth is going to be bitten off. Problem solved.

Be careful you don't bite off more than you can chew.

Re:THE TRUTH!! DO NOT MOD DOWN!! +5 INFORMATIVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027482)

I don't know WTF you were getting at but I laughed my ass off :)

Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30026922)

Probably impossible.

As we all should know by now, impenetrable security doesn't exist. What we should probably have is tighter backup power for essential services and places like hospitals, where local redundancy could help in the face of a remote 'hacker' type attack

Places where there is a lot of danger for people without electrical power don't need billions spent on the security of their power systems. They need redundancy, generators in their buildings that could be used to keep people alive, batteries, and common sense.

Oh well, let's spend a bunch of money on fear like we always do.

Otherwise summarized as: (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027140)

Unsecure infrastructure networks vulnerable to internet based attack.

Movie at 10.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Interesting)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027640)

there's the attitude: There is always somebody out there smarter than you, and there is always going to be a bug or security vulnerability somewhere in the system.

There was an interesting blog in the economist magazine pondering what else could be done with the 680 billion the US spends annually on defense.

While the US has spent a trillion in Iraq the chinese have spent a trillion improving their infrastructure.

America? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026930)

Mike McConnell says that the 'United States is not prepared for such an attack' and believes it could happen in America.

This is news to me, so Brazil is NOT in America?

Re:America? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027208)

It's not in *an* America, it's in the other one.

Sort of like if I have 2 coins that add up to $0.30 and one isn't a nickel, the other coin is.

Re:America? (0, Troll)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027382)

I think you're confused about the English language! "In America" certainly includes any country in either North or South America. You're probably US American and went to a horrible "school" and therefore can be forgiven. ;)

Re:America? (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027492)

I think you're confused about the English language! "In America" certainly includes any country in either North or South America.

English is defined by customary usage. If you said "In America" to 100 English speakers, MAYBE one would include any other country than the US. If you're lucky.

Re:America? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027724)

"In America" certainly includes any country in either North or South America

We do not use the term "America" as a geographical set of the continents "North America" and "South America". Similarly, we don't say that someone is in "Dakota", because that territory no longer exists. We always say "North Dakota" or "South Dakota".

However, "America" *is* commonly used around the world as an abbreviated form of "The United States of America".

guess what's next ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026932)

"'If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. I hope we don't get there.'"

So now I can expect this to happen in the next year. For whatever reason, conspirationist or not : whatever USA dreams (phantasizes), it becomes reality :-/

Re:guess what's next ? (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027118)

Can you guys dream about Canadian currency being valued at 50% when we export and 500% when we import?

Thanks in advance.

Re:guess what's next ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027152)

Can you guys dream about Canadian currency being valued at 50% when we export and 500% when we import?

Thanks in advance.

Well just come over here in mainland Europe :-) I import like crazy (like one third of my revenues) and some of my sources (electronics component brokers) are in Canada. Great and nice people, BTW.

USA is a crapflood from Illuminati nowdays. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027144)

If somthing bad happens, it's because whoever warned anyone about the breach earliest is the one that caused the breach. No different than how Operation Northwoods applies to 9/11 Trade Center bombings.

Hackers don't take down power supplies, crackers in Government made those flaws apparently to guaruntee their jobs progress in a new power grab. Same idea, different day.

Re:guess what's next ? (1)

fredklein (532096) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027362)

It's possible, but it's also possible to take out the energy infrastructure of the USA with conventional methods.

There's a book 'Barracuda 945' in which an Arab man, brought to England as a youngster, grows up and joins the military, rises in the ranks to Major, and is then sent to Israel on a mission. He is struck by certain events there, and decides to defect to the Arabs. He uses his military skills to make friends, influence people, and rob a few banks, amassing a huge amount of money. He then comes up with a plan to use the Chinese (who owe them for reneging on an arms deal) to buy two Russian nuclear powered subs. He takes one across the pacific to Alaska and launches a few cruise missiles (non-nuke) at the oil pumping stations there, then blows a few holes in an underwater part of the oil pipeline, then goes down the west coast of the USA, blowing up any energy related facilities he can (oil transfer tanks, natural gas power stations, etc). He finally ditches the sub in the (now Chinese controlled) Panama canal. The British and American intelligence agencies are one step behind him the whole way.

Now, even without the nuclear submarine, it would be possible to do that damage conventionally. A few (hundred) pounds of C4, strategically placed, could strike a huge blow to the American energy grid.

Re:guess what's next ? (5, Informative)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027728)

Enron demonstrated that it was possible for a single employee to shut down a power station remotely, simply by calling the control centre from an Enron office, giving his name and position, and asking politely whether it would be possible for the plant to have an impromptu maintenance shutdown for a few hours please, and yes, he did appreciate that once it was shut down it'd take a while to start it up again.

That's how brokers caused the plant shutdowns that caused the brownouts that allowed Enron to gouge electricity prices in California, by charging for the emergency rerouting required to patch the problems that they'd just deliberately created.

So back in the Enron days, you wouldn't have needed two nuclear subs. Just one guy with a telephone, calling all the power stations in turn and asking each of them nicely if they could shut down at a predetermined time and go into "heavy maintenance" mode, but please not to discuss this with anyone else, because of company confidentiality (or because of security).

BTW, you know how you take out the conventional phone and mobile networks? You don't have to. Once the emergency services see the power stations going down and think there's a coordinated attack, they shut down all the public communications as a security measure. You get that for free. So the Employee tells the plant to shut down as a security measure because the NSA has tipped them off that Something Bad is going down, and for God's Sake not to power up again under any circumstances unless they get a particular codeword (which, of course, nobody else has). All the plants shut down together, a bunch of pre-programmed scare stories break on the net, this seems to support the tale that the employee told about there being an imminent security thing, the phone lines and media communications go dead, and by the time people have worked out what's happened, nobody can get through to the power plants to tell them that they've been conned. And when they do, they don't have the fake password. You then have the local power guys desperately defending their plant from the local enforcement guys who want to turn it back on, and perhaps even sabotaging it if they look like they're about to lose.

Telephones are dangerous things. Hopefully it wouldn't work nowadays, because people are more savvy about such things (and because they remember the Enron tapes).

Re:guess what's next ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027430)

So now I can expect this to happen in the next year. For whatever reason, conspirationist or not : whatever USA dreams (phantasizes), it becomes reality :-/

Hey! Do you remember that big nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union? Oh wait...

Those gosh-darned HACKERS again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026936)

Seriously, those golfers will do anything to stay on the course during working hours to get another 9 holes in. And for those people who insist that CRACKERS did this, I don't see how a bunch of southern rednecks even get mentioned in this.

Re:Those gosh-darned HACKERS again (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027228)

Yep. We lost the terminology war a decade ago. It's time we deal with it.

So... (5, Insightful)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30026944)

Who thought it would be a swell idea to to hook the grid's computers to the INTERNET?
Did someone surf some pr0n sites on the Win98 powered control computer down at the power plant?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027182)

You still need at least some Internet-facing interface for the power grid, so that the entire network can be controlled, monitored, and the power routed accordingly and efficiently across the country (at least until we get off this terrible grid system w/ something more localized)

Why? (4, Insightful)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027248)

If you have transmission lines running from point A to point B then why cant you just string a data line right below the transmission lines? You already own the right of way. You already have the towers/pole line ran. Compared to the cost of a big high tension line the cost of a little data line would be nothing.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027446)

i think running data lines near strong power lines will result in a huge percentage of lost data due to interference

Re:Why? (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027538)

Why would one not use fibre optics, to avoid such interference?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027556)

Yes, if only someone would invent a way to transmit data using light, maybe over a long fibre of some transparent material...

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027498)

If you have transmission lines running from point A to point B then why cant you just string a data line right below the transmission lines? You already own the right of way. You already have the towers/pole line ran.

You don't. Transmission owners are not grid operators. There are lots of different entities out there; a transmission owner is different from a generator, and neither of them is an ISO/RTO.

Re:Why? (1)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027548)

why cant you just string a data line right below the transmission lines?

Why bother? You already have the high tension line. Run the data on that. Physical security against most attackers is built in by the numerous volts sitting on the line already, and by the redundant network already in place. IT security should be no worse than you already have on the internet, and you should be exempt from attacks by casual hackers because they don't have easy access. Concerted attacks by dedicated evil-doers are another matter, because anyone can gain access. but the evil-doers are going to be a problem anywhere.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027692)

Why bother? Just use the Internet. Banks run transaction traffic through the internet, of course heavily encrypted, with proper integrity protection and certificates. It's entirely possible to do this securely, the global economy already depends on this capability.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, the power companies should just be using proper compartmentalization techniques to dig some trenches between the internet and their systems.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027766)

Which costs more to implement?

Re:So... (4, Informative)

Peter Mork (951443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027542)

Every time one of these stories hits the Web, I find that I need to explain how control systems end up connected to the Internet (at least in those cases I've heard of). The control system, itself, is NOT connected to the Internet. However, the HR system ends up getting connected to the Internet so that people can fill out their time-cards, etc. Unfortunately, the HR systems are on the same intranet as the control system. So, once an attacker has subverted the HR system, he/she has access to the control system. The only good solution is to run multiple intranets, but this seems rarely to be the case.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027748)

> Who thought it would be a swell idea to to hook the grid's computers to the INTERNET?

Dunno.

But right now I'm thinking we should have a Powernet, an internet for electrical network of sorts.

By "we", I mean us Brazilians.

And you, in USA? What do you think?

Black People (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026946)

Welcome to Niggerbuntu

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should Just Work, even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. the OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off of a single installation CD.

It also features the packaging manager ape-ghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is free software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom, to run, copy, steal, distribute, study, share, change and improve the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer !

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world.

The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way:

        "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that other species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie."

We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

Niggerbuntu - Linux for Subhuman Beings.

Hit'em in their wallets (4, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30026952)

"Congressman Jim Langevin says that US power companies need to be forced to deal with the issue after they told Congress they would take steps to defend their operations but did not follow up. 'They admit that they misled Congress. The private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. Their bottom line is about profits..."

Exactly right, this is a capitalist society, ran on making money. If they won't integrate safety systems to protect the system properly from hacker attacks, hit them in the wallet, hard. Pass sound regulation to force them to implement safeguards, require inspections/audits that they are done, not just take their BS word for it. If all they give you is hot air and no implementation, fine them millions of dollars, and on a regular basis if needbe til they implement it.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (0, Troll)

Dreadneck (982170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027018)

Yes, of course! The government has already taken over the banking sector, the mortgage sector, the automotive sector, is about to take over the healthcare sector, so fuck it - the government may as well take over the energy sector as well. I can't wait until they take over food distribution - I've always wanted to know what it's like to stand in line for a loaf of bread all day.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027062)

Well, the energy sector has traditionally been heavily regulated, and works well compared to the huge mess the deregulated banking system made of itself. You do realize that the government took over the banking sector because the bankers failed to run it?

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027098)

Yes, of course! The government has already taken over the banking sector, the mortgage sector, the automotive sector, is about to take over the healthcare sector, so fuck it - the government may as well take over the energy sector as well. I can't wait until they take over food distribution - I've always wanted to know what it's like to stand in line for a loaf of bread all day.

I am not a fan of government intervention either, nor do I like what was done with banking and automobiles. Having said that, this isn't what is being proposed here. If the electric utilities must comply with laws mandating that they meet or exceed a minimum standard of security, this would be much more like the way local Board of Health requires that restaurants handle food in ways that prevent food poisoning. The Board of Health does not own the restaurants and it does not choose their management; it just periodically inspects them and can shut them down if there are egregious violations. Something similar could be worked out for the power companies when it comes to security.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027188)

If they won't integrate safety systems to protect the system properly from hacker attacks, hit them in the wallet, hard. Pass sound regulation to force them to implement safeguards, require inspections/audits that they are done, not just take their BS word for it.

Yes, of course! The government has already taken over the banking sector, the mortgage sector, the automotive sector, is about to take over the healthcare sector, so fuck it - the government may as well take over the energy sector as well. I can't wait until they take over food distribution - I've always wanted to know what it's like to stand in line for a loaf of bread all day.

The great blackout of 2003, which took out the north east united states and a good chunk of ontario, was caused by deregulation (removing the requirement to clear the branches around the power lines [wikipedia.org] ).
Quebec, which has state-owned power (Hydro-Quebec) was not hit hard by that blackout, because it keeps its grid out of phase with those dangerously unregulated parts around it.

Learn the lesson: You can't trust the greedy to run critical infrastructure.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027264)

Of course, what you libertarians fail to mention is that the banking sector was regulated for decades following the great depression, which had been largely caused by banks, and that we then deregulated the banks, which unsurprisingly led to this current catastrophe. The government has, once again, been forced to clean up after a bunch of private banks nearly ruined the entire country; yes, the government does a better job managing the banking system than the bankers themselves do. Nobody is talking about a complete takeover of the banks, just enough oversight and regulation to prevent them from destroying our economy.

The government regulates the energy sector, and look at what we have: a system that has not imploded on itself, the way the banks nearly did. Sounds like a pretty solid strategy to me -- and given the attacks in Brazil, it sounds like the government should add some new regulations to the list for energy companies, in the interest of national security.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027586)

and that we then deregulated the banks,

We did not deregulate the banks. We removed some of the regulation, but we did not deregulate them. You can't do some things half-way and have them not fail. We had too much regulation to make them be fully deregulated and therefore not fail, and too little regulation for them not to fail. We can't know what would happen if banks were fully deregulated because they were not (and don't even bring up the great depression because there was again, too much regulation to be free and too little to be controlled).

The government regulates the energy sector, and look at what we have: a system that has not imploded on itself

Yeah, but a system that is still a pain. Lets see, if I'm unhappy about the level of service of my current utility what are my options? Not a whole lot. If I don't like my bank there are at least 5 within about 5 miles where I live. On the other hand if I don't like my utility company (and for the record I don't) my options are to either move far away and thats about it. Utility companies are inflexible, charge outrageous rates, have low standards of service, and have unexplained long blackouts. I'm confident that a Windows server can have a higher uptime than some utility companies... Just because the electricity is -mostly- on doesn't mean that its a great system.

and given the attacks in Brazil, it sounds like the government should add some new regulations to the list for energy companies, in the interest of national security.

Or you know, how about allowing utility companies to actually compete for prices, service and security. For example, Rackspace is going to do everything in is power to keep their servers online and free of any attacks that might endanger their uptime because there are many hosting companies out there, utility companies on the other hand are free to take their sweet time, its not like their customers can exactly switch to a different company.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027716)

Not that I disagree that bankers need some regulation, but you must also admit that both the depression and our current mess were precipitated or exacerbated, in part, by policies of the Fed..

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027528)

government has already taken over

Welcome to the beginning of The New World Order...

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (2, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027056)

But how much energy can congress really expect them to expend defending against imagined threats?

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027282)

But how much energy can congress really expect them to expend defending against imagined threats?

There's nothing imagined about any of these threats. They are very, very real. What we know about is scary enough, what we may yet learn could be truly frightening. Maybe you caught that little part in the story where the military is having some of their computer chips made overseas. I wonder how much money you'd think it would be worth to stop four of five of our own Predators and Reapers from bombing US cities? Or a couple nukes going off in their silos? Or all of our refineries melting down at once while the rest of us are sitting around in the dark?

Virtually all our PC's, processors and hard drives are made overseas. By sending all our manufacturing overseas, we may be setting ourselves up for an attack that will make 9/11 look like lunch at Hooters.

We already know what happens when someone whines about imaginary threats...like foreigners taking airline flight lessons.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (0, Troll)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027336)

And this is why Linux is better than Windows. (mod me up thanks)

Northeast Blackout of 2003 (1)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027488)

You spend the money in such a way as to make the system generally more robust, not just against terrorist attacks, but also against acts of nature, disgruntled employees, criminal extortion, and sheer human idiocy.

A lot of US infrastructure has been desperately vulnerable for years. How many terrorists would it take to black out fifty million people in North America? Apparently zero.

Remember the Northeast Blackout of 2003 [wikipedia.org] ?
If the reporting was accurate, that affected 55 million people across eight US states (and Ontario), and was caused by a lightning strike
Getting the grid rebooted seemed to involve a hell of a lot of grief.
If the reporting wasn't accurate (and we go down the "conspiracy theory" route), then maybe the hypothetical attack has already happened, back in 2003.

So which idea's the more scary? That we lost the Northeastern grid in 2003 through malicious intervention, or that it simply failed and "dominoed" all by itself after some nasty spikes in Canada?

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (2, Interesting)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027210)

Exactly right, this is a capitalist society, ran on making money. If they won't integrate safety systems to protect the system properly from hacker attacks, hit them in the wallet, hard.

This is the fundamental point. Those with the ability to secure the system need to be the ones paying for breeches. Bruce Schneier had several good articles around this point. The main example being banks/credit card companies paying for fraud. If they could just push that onto the customer, there would be far more instances of fraud. Instead, they take responsibility for the whole system and customers are far better off for it.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (3, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027280)

Credit card companies push the consequences of fraud onto stores and such. Those stores that choose to accept credit card payments factor the risk of fraud into the prices they charge. The credit card companies do attempt to protect their customers from fraud, but only because they wouldn't make any money if they didn't have any members (they also work with stores to prevent fraud, as they figure it will lead to clearing more transactions).

The credit card companies certainly don't pay for fraud though.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (1)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027460)

breeches[brich-iz]

-noun (used with a plural verb)
1. Also called knee breeches. knee-length trousers, often having ornamental buckles or elaborate decoration at or near the bottoms, commonly worn by men and boys in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.
2. riding breeches.
3. Informal. trousers.
--Idiom
4. too big for one's breeches, asserting oneself beyond one's authority or ability.

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027536)

You sig would be funnier if it read "...When many people enjoy a delusion...".

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027402)

...not just take their BS word for it. If all they give you is hot air and no implementation, fine them millions of dollars, and on a regular basis if need be til they implement it.

Why not hold the Criminals-in-Congress(TM) to the same standard?

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (2, Funny)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027474)

Thats crazy talk. Here is the solution:

1) It's government regulation that is the problem. If the government would just loosen the regulations a little the power companies would be able to make more money. Then they could spend that money on other things like security, safety, and protecting the environment.

2) We should allow power companies to join the RIAA. Once hackers know they will face life imprisonment for copy right infringement, they will too scared to do anything. While we are at it, why not just give every industrial union (yes that what they are, corporate unions that hassle the government) the power to fuck over the average citizen.

3) As an added bonus, we can pass laws demanding to know what people have plugged into their wall sockets, you know ..... to ahh ...... watch for hackers! This of course only applies to peoples homes (and by people I mean non-rich people), applying this to businesses would make it harder for them to compete.

4) Profit!

Can I get my Republican kickbacks now?

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (1)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027512)

When you say "Hit 'em in their wallets" You are really saying "Hit ME in MY wallet". The power industry is regulated. Profit is also regulated. Power companies make about 12% above what it costs to produce and distribute power in most markets (depends on the Public Service Commission in your area as to the actual percentage). The NERC (North American Electric Reliability Company) Critical Infrastructure Protection standards were adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to partially deal with the problem. Some companies have taken the INTENT of the standards to heart and have implemented them with true security in mind. Others have done everything they can to circumvent the standards. NERC is starting their initial audits right now to see how well individual companies have done. Stay tuned to www.nerc.com to see how your power company fared in the audit...

Re:Hit'em in their wallets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027770)

Auditing and financial penalties are already in place for Cyber Protection of Bulk Electrical control systems. It is called the CIP standards (http://www.nerc.com/page.php?cid=2|20) and allows the government to impose a 1 million dollar per day fine if audits find a Utility out of compliance. Of course, there is still a lot of questions regarding what constitutes "out of compliance"

So how exactly does this work? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30026966)

Is there a webpage with a big "turn off generators" button?

Seems to me this should be a physical access, big red button type thing, no?

Sure it's going to happen... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026980)

Protecting against virtual attacks is going to be the next growth industry; at least if defense contractors have anything to with it. The following from cryptome [cryptome.org] , which I'd link to if there were a way to do that.

A sends:

I was watching PBS with with my daughter yesterday and a cartoon came on PBS Kids that I found a little bit disturbing. The name of the cartoon is "Cyberchase."

Here is a description of it from the PBS Website: "In the world of CYBERCHASE, the dastardly villain Hacker is on a mad mission to take over Cyberspace with the help of his blundering henchbots, Buzz and Delete. But heroes, Inez, Jackie, and Matt, are three curious kids determined to stop him with the help of their cyberpal, Digit. Their weapon: brain power."

http://www.pbs.org/parents/tvprograms/program-cyberchase.html [pbs.org]

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS168619+17-Apr-2009+GNW20090417 [reuters.com]

Kind of strange a cartoon targeting the pre-school thru early grade school demographic about hackers using their minds as weapons in cyberspace. It was even stranger when it aired again today and I had a chance to see the lead corporate sponsor, Northrop Grumman. Yes, Northrop Grumman is sponsoring a cartoon for kids on Public Television. It adds new meaning to Northrop's Motto "Defining the Future" - defining the future, one young mind at a time, through children's education.

In all honesty I just never thought PBS would have the 4th largest defense contractor in the United States, the maker of B-2 Spirit strategic bomber who helps the U.S. to maintain a safe, secure and reliable strategic nuclear deterrent sponsoring kids' cartoons. Not cool.

Re:Sure it's going to happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027572)

I've long since stopped trusting anything that comes across PBS, particularly it's news sources. It's been compromised and so has Cryptome, although I'm not sure to what degree. I used to trust them both, but I've seen reasons to doubt them.

I submitted this last week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30026998)

I submitted it in response to a number of people blowing off the potential hacker attack a few weeks ago. They have already happened and it will get worse. It's the cheapest and easiest way to do damage and get away with it.

Internets... (5, Insightful)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027020)

Things like this make me wonder why mission- and life-critical systems are (presumably) set up on Internet-facing systems. Sure, it's cheap, but when the walls come tumbling down like this article implies, cost is a moot point.

I don't see why they can't just buy a phone line for each power station and link to central stations (also with NON-Internet-facing systems) like that.

Re:Internets... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027554)

That's not the worst. There are stories of medical systems running Windows, connected to the internet, and shutting down at one point because of an autorestart from Windows Update.

Security (5, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027028)

Most systems here in the US are only secure because they're obscure. Someone who has worked in the industry for more than about a year has enough knowledge to cause some widespread destruction. Up until recently, the emergency broadcast service was only a phone number and modem, with no authentication!

No Security (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027440)

Up until recently, the emergency broadcast service was only a phone number and modem, with no authentication!

The CATV company I work for had a crazy insecure ebs system. It was these ancient boxes in the head ends that just watched for a carrier on a certain freq in the return path. Once it saw any carrier it would flip over the EBS system and all the audio on our analog channels would go down. This carrier came from another dumb box that was in the main head end. That box was triggered by a unsecured phone line and all you needed to do was know the number to it. All anyone needed to spam 250K customers was a telephone.

The whole system looked like it was built by some ham radio op with parts from RadioShack in the 1980's.

We only got rid of this system LAST YEAR after some prankster with a signal generator figgered out how to trigger one of the dumb boxes. We now have a new system with scrolling text across the screen and clear audio... though I wouldn't be surprised if it was just as half assed as the old system.

Im posting this AC because coworkers know my /. nick :)

Re:Security (1)

barik (160226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027490)

I concur. Airports are the same way, and still this way. Many are running standard PLCs like Allen-Bradley or Modicon. They are connected directly to a modem line with no authentication. So grab yourself a copy of RSLogix or Unity Pro, dial into these places, and have fun modifying the ladder logic and wreak havoc on the airport as all bags get re-routed to who knows where. I've seen the same issues with power plants and water treatment facilities.

The only upside is that the modem line isn't hooked up all the time these days. It's usually just when they need someone to dial in, and then a worker at the facility will go and hook up the line.

Re:Security (2, Funny)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027580)

wreak havoc on the airport as all bags get re-routed to who knows where.

Is that not standard airline practice?

Hell the bags might end up at the right place for once.....

Re:Security (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027522)

Most of the systems are controlled by PLCs. Most PLCs to this day have no access control whatsoever. Some of the attempts at "security" I've heard for PLCs are salesguy technobabble. (The password is stored on the PC being used to access the PLC; the PLC retrieves the password FROM THE PC in order to verify the validity of the user. No shit, this is what a major vendor told me.)

A kid with a laptop with the right software, a modem, and knowledge of a few phone numbers could take out significant infrastructure.

Re:Security (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027652)

A kid with a length of chain and a potato gun could also take out some significant infrastructure in the power industry. Physical security is important as well.

Nostalgia (3, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027040)

Awfully reminiscent of the hysteria that took place in the 80s, when the FBI and media were convinced that hackers were going to "crash the grid," launch a nuclear attack or god knows what other heinous crimes. The cost to the freedom of their own citizens, and the financial expenditure on all of this hysteria seems awfully prohibitive compared to the actual risk.

Re:Nostalgia (2, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027300)

The cost to the freedom of their own citizens, and the financial expenditure on all of this hysteria seems awfully prohibitive compared to the actual risk.

To be fair, almost no amount of prevention could begin to equal the cost of a truly major event like a significant amount of the US power grid being down for more than a brief flicker.

What short memories these "experts" have (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027052)

If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. I hope we don't get there.

That already happened [wikipedia.org] , you moron. And nothing has been done to fix it because repairing infrastructure isn't sexy enough to get politicians elected.

Re:What short memories these "experts" have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027216)

August is no where near the winter that will cause people to suffer and die. IIRC, the outage was caused by it being too HOT for the current flowing through some lines. And I do vividly remember that outage, and how hot it was that day...

You need SCADA security (3, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027086)

I work for a company involved in SCADA systems that control half of Australia's water supply and a fair bit of the country's power grid.

SCADA networks have evolved, out of convenience, to coexist with existing LANS and thus progressively have become more dependent on TCP/IP protocols, thus becoming (rather by default) Internet-enabled.

Vulnerabilities are to some degree covered by the RTU programming, which has built in safeguards against doing wrong things. But it's not impossible for a dedicated hacker to create a bit of havoc, and this point is not lost on our client base. Our clients are actively investing now to isolate SCADA networks from the Internet, because safety has to overrule operational convenience. Work is going on now, and the door is fast closing on this avenue of attack.

It's all about SCADA. Little intelligent valves in little steel boxes attached to a lot of industrial plant. It's automation, true, but there are rather a lot of eyes watching it.

Re:You need SCADA security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027142)

That's all very well, but what about the implications of terrorists getting hold of a CIP device!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:You need SCADA security (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027608)

Do you mean that the checksum needed to authenticate a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) is transparent from the internet?

Re:You need SCADA security (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027664)

most of the control protocols have no authentication built into them either, in fact none of the ones i've worked with. maybe the newer ones do?

Re:You need SCADA security (1)

barik (160226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027708)

I'm not aware of any that do? Off the top of my head I can think of CIP, Modbus, Ethernet/IP, Profibus, ProfiNET, DeviceNet, and CANOpen and none of these have any authentication. At best, some of these like CIP have security through obscurity, but others like Modbus are completely known specifications.

Re:You need SCADA security (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027758)

hey, while you're spending money to do that, why not also spend the small chump change it would take to harden our grid against EMP and geomagnetic disturbances?

It's all good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027126)

> 'I would probably sack electric power on the US East Coast, maybe the West Coast and attempt to cause a cascading effect.'

No worries, I'm in the Midwest, go right ahead.

Hand in Hand along the path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027238)

'They admit that they misled Congress. The private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. Their bottom line is about profits,' says Langevin. 'We need to change their motivation so that when see vulnerability like this, we can require them to fix it.'

And yet when the RIAA/MPAA deceive in the name of profit its all about protecting jobs, yes jobs - not the mansion.

Like we'd respond that well (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027260)

'If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. I hope we don't get there.

If 9/11 was any indication, our national response would be characterized by...

  • NSA snooping into all of our computers, and "state secrets" claimed whenever we tried to invoke the 4th Amendment in court.
  • A few massive, no-bid contracts by the Federal Government which achieve almost nothing of value.
  • RIAA/MPAA sleezeballs capitalizing on it in ways I don't even want to contemplate.
  • Possibly an insane (think Sarbanes-Oxley) amount of red tape added to many computer installations in the country.
  • Republicans and Democrats somehow finding a way to blame each other for this, deadlocking the Legislature for a while, and then in some kind of last-minute spasm, pass an appaling bill to just have the appearance of doing something.

Only in my wildest fantasies would such an attack mobilize the country to have a rational, balanced cyber-security posture.

Re:Like we'd respond that well (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027524)

Don't forget about starting a couple of wars in random third-world countries just to look "tough" (or to benefit your buddies running various energy companies).

California power embargo of 2000/1 (4, Interesting)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027342)

'If the power grid was taken off line in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation

So the enron-organized power embargo hitting california in the summer of 2001 is now being recognized as terrorism? The central valley and inland empire areas hit 100+ degrees most summer days. Wonder how many elderly died, or had their lifespans shortened due to heat stress during the rolling power outages.

humm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027366)

all this comes from a retired person with nothing better to do with his time then to try and get on 60 mins. im guessing he also is one of the people who calls technical support saying that his wireless signal keeps getting stolen by the Russians that are in submarines in the lake what his house backs on to.

Naive Population (3, Insightful)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027370)

You are extremely Naive if you believe this garbage. Blaming bandits for the shortcomings of the government is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Well, Duh! (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027386)

Obviously the evil terrorist hackers would have to attack the electricity distribution via the control centres on the internerd, the power companies long ago stipulated that all pylons and power poles be made of adamantium and be guarded 24/7 so there is no feasible way to attack the wires strung all over the fricken country.

Is this a cover... (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027466)

for some kind Hollywood-style heist underway?

Die Hard 4.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027468)

Can't believe it wasn't even tagged about this.
COME ON PEOPLE!

Old news. NERC CIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027500)

The regulations (triggered by the massive blackout of a few years back that was actually an electical issue, not a computer hacker incident) called NERC CIP are intended to deal with this issue.

http://www.nerc.com/page.php?cid=2|20

W

Liberals (4, Funny)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027506)

More liberal regulation. Doesn't everyone know that capitalism is best for us? Those that control the energy industry seek money and that in America is a worthwhile goal in and of itself. Money fixes everything. After all our money says 'In God We Trust'. It's practically blessed. The golden calf is god.

I haven't been modded troll or flamebait in a long time, just thought I'd try it out.

Hmm... (1)

parabyte (61793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027566)

Reading this article, I was thinking this security guy is exaggerating and playing down at the same time.

First of all, in the U.S. many companies use so much crap when it comes to IT that it makes me sick, so everything is possible. However, I think it is much more probable many systems will blow up on a large scale without any malice involved, but just due to incompetence and negligence.

At the same time this guy admits the U.S. is actively preparing and maybe even conducting cyber-warfare against other countries. I don't know how to comment on that. If all countries would stick to cyberwarfare instead of dropping bombs, this would not be *that* bad.

The talk about stolen intellectual property and trade secrets is mostly bullshit. Any business that requires a great deal of secrets to be kept is not sustainable anyway. The future belongs to companies who need very few secrets, if any at all, and are quite open about most aspects of their business. Secrets tend to get out sooner or later anyway.

For mission critical software the quality standards should not be very high, but insanely high. And when the life of people is on the line, software alone should never be able wreak havoc. Unfortunately there are too many people out there who don't have a clue and are just happy when things work. The only get wiser when after the shit hits fan a couple of times, but then they overreact. Professionals should have more courage and never let hazardous systems become operational.

However, I don't see a chance that most of those responsible for the bottom line would voluntarily invest in security and safety unless they are forced to do so, either by law, or by shitstorm.

p.

why can the hacks do somefun like unlocking all ch (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30027654)

why can the hacks do something like unlocking all channels in a cable system?

I think if some one where to hack in the power system and set all bills to $0 then you will see a big move to lock the system down.

Fear Mongering $$$ + Power (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027718)

There is no cost of inciting fear in the public. And fear brings huge opportunities for money and influence. How do we impose a cost on fear mongerers? Ooooh... how about a tax on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and 60 Minutes? Justice at last.

a naive sounding question (1)

ncmathsadist (842396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30027720)

What are we thinking, connecting these secure locations to the Internet? This seems the height of folly to me!
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