By JORDAN ROBERTSON and EILEEN SULLIVAN – 6 hours ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Spies hacked into the U.S. electric grid and left behind computer programs that would let them disrupt service, exposing potentially catastrophic vulnerabilities in key pieces of national infrastructure, a former U.S. government official said Wednesday.
The intrusions were discovered after electric companies gave the government permission to audit their systems, the ex-official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The inspections of the electric grid were triggered by fears over a March 2007 video from the Idaho National Laboratory, which had staged a demonstration of what damage hackers could do if they seized control of a crucial part of the electric grid. The video showed a power turbine spinning out of control until it became a smoking hulk and shut down.
Although the resulting audits turned up evidence of spying sometime earlier, the former official told the AP that the extent of the problem is unknown, because the government does not have blanket authority to examine other electric systems.
Posted by Bex, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm
The power went out while I was at work in the 94043 (Ellis & 101). When I got home (in the 94040), I realized that the power had gone out there too. I wonder why such a wide spread outage has gotten such little attention!
Posted by Elna Tymes, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm
KCBS has been reporting that a vandal cut four 8" cables in a vault on Monterey Highway in S. San Jose overnight. These cables carried phone lines for multiple vendors, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc., and has resulted in a lack of phone coverage in many places all over the South Bay and Santa Cruz. Emergency service is out, telecommunications is out, land lines and cellular communications is out. Repair crews are reconnecting the lines as I type this, says KCBS, and there is a criminal investigation in process.
Posted by tommygee, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm
I work in the 94040 zip and power did not go off so I didn't notice anything different. When I finally went to bed as I live in the 94043 zip area (San Pierre Way at Middlefield) I noticed that my digital clock was blinking. Was this outage long lasting or a short outage?
Posted by FamilyMan, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Apr 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm
I was at work near Ellis And Fairchild when the power went off. Does the Electric Company know something that they're not letting us know? What's the deal? All the talk about hackers and then the phone lines being cut in south santa clara county makes me wonder if terrorist are attacking us through cyber attacks!