Saturday, December 27, 2014

Key Industries Train to Thwart Cyber Attacks

In a small hotel meeting room a few blocks from the White House, employees from power plants, factories, airports and oil refineries hunched over their laptops as they worked frantically to stop cyber terrorists from firing a rocket launcher into the heart of a picturesque American town.
A passenger jet flies past the FAA control tower at Washington's 
Ronald Reagan National Airport. Air traffic control systems 
are one possible target of cyber terrorists, experts say.
(Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)
It was just a training drill with pretend hackers and a model "cyber city" made of plastic and wood. But, for the participants, the lesson zeroed in on a threat that is becoming increasingly real.
While the nation has focused on the dramatic cyber attack against Sony Pictures and the recent hacking of Target and Home Depot, cybersecurity experts say the greater danger is that terrorists will go after the nation's critical infrastructure — its airports, water treatment plants, power companies, oil refineries and chemical plants.
Cyber terrorists could turn off the lights for millions of Americans by attacking power grids, shut down the nation's airports by seizing control of air traffic control systems, or blow up an oil pipeline from thousands of miles away, experts say.
"This is a much bigger threat over time than losing some credit cards to cyber criminals," said Derek Harp, the lead instructor at the recent training conference run by SANS Institute, which provides cybersecurity education and certification for people who run industrial control systems.
Members of Congress agree.
Read the rest HERE.

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