Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Can Anonymous cripple critical U.S. infrastructure?

A few weeks ago, Anonymous threatened to take Wall St. offline. Supposedly they, or someone, succeeded for a short time. Now, an article in Informationweek raises the question whether the group can take down critical infrastructure. Whether or not they can create a Stuxnet-like attack, most agree, I think, that critical infrastucture is a relatively easy target for a cyber attack. But I recall a conversation several years ago with a notable hacker who, while acknowledging the possibly of a cyber attack, asked, "Why not just plant a bomb?" Good point, especially for a domestic attacker on a domestic target. As we saw from the Stuxnet attack on Iran, they were able to recover from the system attack. I wonder, though, if recovery would have been so quick from a physical attack.

We just happen to have several books dealing with issues of critical infrastructure protection. They are:

Cybersecurity for Industrial Control Systems: SCADA, DCS, PLC, HMI, and SIS

Critical Infrastructure: Understanding Its Component Parts, Vulnerabilities, Operating Risks, and Interdependencies

Risk Assessment for Water Infrastructure Safety and Security

Critical Infrastructure: Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Second Edition