Breaking into the computers of a sewage plant
February 16, 2006 11:03 AM   Subscribe

"[Vitek] Boden had waged a three-month war against the Scada (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system of Maroochy Water Services in Australia beginning in January 2000, which saw millions of gallons of sewage spill into waterways, hotel grounds and canals around the Sunshine Coast suburb." A 2002 Washington Post story on possible al-Qaeda attacks also mentions the Boden case: "Specialists in cyber-terrorism have studied Boden's case because it is the only one known in which someone used a digital control system deliberately to cause harm."
posted by russilwvong (3 comments total)

 
Related: Red Herring series on Hacking the Grid. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Requires registration. Google cache: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
posted by russilwvong at 11:09 AM on February 16, 2006


More than 30 years after Benny Hill created traffic chaos in Turin this incident in Maroochy is the only concrete example of life imitating art? I don't know weither to be reassured or concerned by that. The story seems to be that these systems, key to the infrastructure of our society, are at the mercy of any well informed nar-do-well who comes along. Not only was there no security, there was precious little logging or auditing either. Not sure I quite understand the disparity here betwen what's apparently possible, and what's actually occured.

As a side note, I've always been fascinated by the radio antenna on the pumping stations along the Sunshine Coast. It always seemed so cool to have remote control of the system like that. Maybe not so much...
posted by adamt at 5:09 PM on February 16, 2006


The story seems to be that these systems, key to the infrastructure of our society, are at the mercy of any well informed nar-do-well who comes along.

Yeah. And technical expertise isn't so hard to come by, these days. Apparently Hezbollah cloned cell phones belonging to senior executives at Rogers Wireless, a major Canadian telecommunications company, back in 1997 and 1998.
"They were cloning the senior executives repeatedly, because everyone was afraid to cut off Ted Rogers' phone," Hopper told Gefen, in an interview that recognised the cleverness of the social engineering trick. "They were using actually a pretty brilliant psychology. Nobody wants to cut off Ted Rogers' phone or any people that are directly under Ted Rogers, so they took their scanners to our building... Nobody wants to shut off Ted. Even if he is calling Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Kuwait."
posted by russilwvong at 5:18 PM on February 16, 2006


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