Hackers target U.S. power grid

Hundreds of times a day, hackers try to slip past cyber-security into the computer network of Constellation Energy Group Inc., a Baltimore power company with customers around the country. The hackers have caused no serious damage to systems, but there efforts have hightened concerns failed to fortify defenses against a potential catastrophic strike in the power grids. In worst-case scenario, terrorists or others could engineer an attack that sets off a widespread blackout and damages power plants, prolonging an outage.

Many electric industry representatives have said they are concerned about cyber-security and have been taking steps to make sure their systems are protected. But Wood and others in the industry said the companies' computer security is uneven. "A sophisticated hacker, which is probably a group of hackers . . . could probably get into each of the three U.S. North American power [networks] and could probably bring sections of it down if they knew how to do it," said Richard A. Clarke, a former counterterrorism chief in the Clinton and Bush administrations.

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News source: MSNBC

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