Illinois utility breach apparently was false alarm (report)

Malicious or not, the reported incident still had an impact on the local water supply, which should renew the attention of smart-grid security experts.

The water utility technology breach in Illinois that had smart grid proponents and law officials on alert earlier this month apparently was a benign goof-up caused by a traveling contractor, according to an article published Friday by The Washington Post.

The incident raised eyebrows because, unlike the smart meter breaches that have occurred in the past that have tweaked privacy experts, the situation actually affected at least one water pump in Illinois. The breach appeared to have come from Russia, which I suppose is why security sorts were so concerned.

Deliberate or not, the situation is a reminder that as the distribution systems for electricity, water and other public utilities become more automated and more efficient, the potential for malicious disruption also grows exponentially. We haven't heard the last of situations like this. I'm just glad that even though this whole incident was deemed relatively minor, that it apparently (at least as of this moment) wasn't something premeditated.

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