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DHS video shows potential impact of cyberattack
Published: 2007-09-27

A video produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for senior policy makers shows the impact of a real vulnerability on a power utility's system, according to an article by the Associated Press, which first obtained the video.

The short film, created by Idaho National Laboratories, shows the results of a simulated attack on a power network, including a turbine that dramatically overheats and shuts down. The test, known as the Aurora Generator Test, happened in March when researchers investigated the impact of a vulnerability that has since been fixed, the AP reported.

"They've taken a theoretical attack and they've shown in a very demonstrable way the impact you can have using cyber means and cyber techniques against this type of infrastructure," Amit Yoran, former U.S. cybersecurity chief for the Bush administration, told the AP. "It's so graphic. Talking about bits and bytes doesn't have the same impact as seeing something catch fire."

While cybersecurity has, for the most part, gotten short shrift among U.S. policy makers, the DHS has focused on bolstering the security of the information systems used to monitor industrial systems -- known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks. In addition, this year, the House Committee on Homeland Security has held hearings on numerous attacks on federal agencies.

The video can be viewed on the Associated Press's video site.

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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