The Russians Could Control Vital US Infrastructure through Smartphone, DHS Says

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( — November 7, 2014)  — According to the Department of Homeland Security, a ‘Doomsday’ scenario like the one we have seen in a blockbuster Die Hard 4 could become a reality. In a movie, the group of domestic terrorists led by the rogue FBI agent took control over US electrical power grid and many other vital systems wired to the central network.

In reality, DHS sources blame Russian hackers for planting the destructive malware program years ago. According to the Department of Homeland Security, a “Trojan Horse” malware program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Describing it as a very serious threat that could cause potential economic catastrophe, DHS source told ABC News they believe they have evidence that hackers sponsored by the Russian government planted the software.

Who ever the cyber-attackers are, it is chilling thought that it’s even possible for someone to remotely take control of vital national infrastructure by hacking the software that, according to DHS source, control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants.

DHS said in a bulletin that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process. US officials only recently became aware the penetration, however, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed.

The agency’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team issued the alert bulletin to its industry members last week, claiming several companies had detected the Trojan Horse ‘BlackEnergy’ penetration recently.

According to DHS, ‘BlackEnergy’ is the same malware that was used by a Russian cyber-espionage group dubbed “Sandworm” to target NATO and some energy and telecommunications companies in Europe earlier this year.

“Analysis of the technical findings in the two reports shows linkages in the shared command and control infrastructure between the campaigns, suggesting both are part of a broader campaign by the same threat actor,” the DHS bulletin said.

According to the Department of Homeland Security source, the malware software found in a system is very advanced. It allows designated workers to control various industrial processes through the computer, an iPad or a smart phone, source said.