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US Vulnerable To Cyber Attack

We have known for a while that the United States is vulnerable to hackers, and the threat continues to grow. As the cyber/hacker community grows and becomes even more knowledgeable, it becomes more important to have a cyber defense team that can handle such a threat.

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Just as the computers that ran Iran’s nuclear program were sabotaged and crippled by a cyber “super worm” virus, the software used to run much of America’s industrial, transportation and power infrastructure — including nuclear power plants and major airports — is vulnerable to cyber attack, and two software companies have revealed dozens of successful hacks to prove it.

The issue lies in specialized software systems sold by Siemens, Iconics, 7-Technologies and others to power plants and other infrastructure. Called “supervisory control and data acquisition” systems, or SCADA, they run software solely for industrial use.

And it’s just as vulnerable as every other program on your PC, warned Eric Knapp, a director of critical infrastructure markets at NitroSecurity.

“These are specialized protocols used by the big industry giants,” Knapp told FoxNews.com. “These protocols are very insecure.” More worrying are the kinds of systems that use this software. “We’re talking nuclear facilities, large scale manufacturing, pharmaceuticals — essentially anything with automation anywhere runs these systems.”

Luckily, these systems are typically isolated and hard to get to, since many are not connected to the Internet for security purposes, Knapp explained. Still, the risk of infiltration remains, and active protection is a constant battle.

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