January 29, 2010

[efoods]Power plants, oil refineries and water supplies increasingly dependent on the Internet are under relentless attack by cyber spies and thugs, according to a McAfee report.

The “Critical Infrastructure in the Age of Cyber-War” analysis by the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said the price of “downtime” from major attacks exceeds six million dollars a day.

“If cyberspace is the Wild West, the sheriff needs to get to Dodge City,” concluded the study commissioned by McAfee, which sells computer security software.

In most developed countries, operating systems of critical infrastructure including power grids and oil refineries are linked to the Internet where they can be targeted for attacks.

“There are absolutely foreign entities that would definitely conduct (cyber) reconnaissance of our power infrastructure,” said Michael Assante, chief security officer of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

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