22 Nov 2011

Hackers allegedly destroy US water pump

Internet security may need to be increased after hackers allegedly destroyed a water pump used to distribute water to thousands of people in a small Illinois city. The pump is said to have been broken by hackers getting into the utility network and turning it on and off very quickly. So far, the U.S. Department for Homeland Security and the FBI are looking into the incident.

Joe Weiss, who advises utility companies how to protect their hardware against attacks, said hackers got into the system by using stolen log-in and password information, according to the BBC. The hackers seem to be located in Russia.

Lani Kass, a retired adviser to the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters these cyber attacks should be taken very seriously by the United States.

"The going in hypothesis is always that it's just an incident or coincidence. And if every incident is seen in isolation, it's hard -- if not impossible -- to discern a pattern or connect the dots," Kass told Reuters, adding that failure to connect the dots on the 9/11 terrorist attacks lead to shock waves when it occurred.

Companies that can be accessed from outside computers should make sure their internet security solutions are as strong and updated as possible.