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NSA: China could shut down our power grid

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"It is only a matter of the when, not the if, that we are going to see something traumatic." These are the words of Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the NSA and the US Cyber Command.

CNN reported yesterday that malware from China and other countries and entities has been detected on systems that control our power, fuel, utilities and water.  Cyber security firm Mandiant found that foreign hackers were able to penetrate American systems to steal information on schematics, control systems and system configurations.  The perpetrators are able to dig deep into the programming and could find vulnerabilities in the system.

It was not reported what other countries have been able to hack into US power grid systems, but speculation runs that Russia is another country that has breached American cyber security.  There are also independent hackers who are sometimes hired by other nations.  Admiral Rogers refers to them as "cyber hit men".

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently predicted that the US wold suffer a major, crippling cyber attack in the next decade or so.  Between the nations who want to exploit US systems, the cyber hit men and hackers within the US who just want to damage corporations and the economy, the likelihood of a disruption in the economy and a loss of life doesn't sound like a mere conspiracy theory.