Cyberattack Blacked Out Cities, CIA Admits

A blackout caused by cyberattack has occurred at least once in the United States, according to the Central Intelligence Agency. Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, said that CIA senior analyst Tom Donahue confirmed that online attackers had caused at least one blackout in the following statement.

We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyberattacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet."

I could swear I saw the same thing last fall in the movies. In Live Free or Die Hard, Timothy Olyphant and Maggie Q are cyberterrorists who are determined to put out the lights - and succeed.


(MQ vs. Mac: Making sure the lights go out in
Live Free or Die Hard)

The good guys prevailed, but not before the Eastern U.S. was unlit.

For other sfnal references to cyberattacks, see infowar operation (netwar) from Distraction by Bruce Sterling and Electric Skillet from Shockwave Rider by John Brunner.

Via CIA Admits Cyberattacks Blacked Out Cities.

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