Hacker Compromises South Houston Water and Sewage System
A hacker claims to have infiltrated a South Houston supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. The system automates the controls for the water treatment plant in Harris County, Texas.
The hacker goes by the name of "pr0f" and claims that he is trying to expose flaws in the U.S. national infrastructure, and our ability to respond to these types of threats. Apparently the SCADA system was exposed to the Internet and protected by a three-letter password, making it relatively easy to gain access.
In a post on Pastebin, Pr0f included screen shots of privileged access to the software and claims not to have made any changes. A similar attack occurred in Illinois on November 8, and after investigating the incident, a DHS spokesman said "At this time there is no credible corroborated data that indicates a risk to critical infrastructure entities or a threat to public safety,"
Hackers scan the Internet for systems that present a certain "footprint" like SCADA systems, and then try to compromise those systems by looking for weaknesses in the software or the configuration and management of that software.
Former CIA director Michael Hayden has called for a separate, secure Internet to protect national infrastructure.
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