FC: FBI warns that al Qaeda wants to hack U.S. water supply

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Feb 01 2002 - 02:18:49 PST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 14:40:21 -0800
    From: Kevin L. Poulsen <klpat_private>
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: FBI Issues Water Supply Cyberterror Warning
    FBI Issues Water Supply Cyberterror Warning
    By Kevin Poulsen
    Members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network have sought
    information on the Web about the networks that U.S. utility companies use to
    remotely control water supply distribution and treatment systems, according
    to a bulletin issued by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center
    (NIPC) Wednesday.
    "U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have received indications
    that Al-Qaida members have sought information on Supervisory Control And
    Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems available on multiple SCADA-related Web
    sites," reads the bulletin. "They specifically sought information on water
    supply and wastewater management practices in the U.S. and abroad."
    SCADA systems allow utility companies and municipalities to monitor and
    direct equipment at unmanned facilities from a central location. Dedicated
    communications channels link a control center to hundreds of "remote
    terminal units," which in turn control water pumps and other equipment.
    The NIPC bulletin went to some 3,000 members of the center's InfraGard
    program, an information-sharing partnership between the NIPC and private
    An FBI spokesman emphasized that the bulletin is not a full blown alert. "It
    just says be on the lookout," says FBI supervisory special agent Steven
    Berry. "There's some information that suggests that they [Al-Quada] are
    looking at this... There are potential interests in water supplies, and
    other infrastructures."
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