Cyberterrorism? Or something else entirely in Illinois

Are we being hacked? Homeland security disputes report

This is a long detailed story but the report “Public Water District Cyber Intrusion,” assembled by an Illinois terrorism early warning center, gives this description of a supposed cyberterrorism incident:

“Sometime during the day of Nov. 8, 2011, a water district employee noticed problems with a SCADA system. An information technology service and repair company checked the computer logs of the SCADA system and determined the system had been remotely hacked into from an Internet provider address located in Russia. The SCADA system that was used by the water district was produced by a software company based in the US. It is believed the hackers had acquired unauthorized access to the software company’s database and retrieved the usernames and passwords of various SCADA systems, including the water district systems.”

“Over a period of 2-3 months, minor glitches have been observed in remote access to the water district’s SCADA system. Recently, the SCADA system would power on and off, resulting in the burnout of a water pump.”

The Department of Homeland Security disputes this. They say:

There is no evidence to support claims made in the initial Fusion Center report – which was based on raw, unconfirmed data and subsequently leaked to the media – that any credentials were stolen, or that the vendor was involved in any malicious activity that led to a pump failure at the water plant,” the ICS-CERT alert states. “In addition, DHS and FBI have concluded that there was no malicious or unauthorized traffic from Russia or any foreign entities, as previously reported.

Credit: BoingBoing

So what’s the truth? Who screwed up?

I know! It’s ghosts that caused the malfunctions… What? It works when it happens in homes!