Anonymous Could Shutter Power Grid: NSA Honcho
Ability to launch attack is still a few years off, though
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2012 9:39 AM CST
This picture taken on February 3, 2012 shows a photograph of the Greek ministry of justice website, hacked by Anonymous.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Hacking collective Anonymous has taken on the FBI and the CIA, among others—and soon the group could be making its presence known in your living room. The National Security Agency director warns that within the next one to two years, Anonymous could launch a cyberattack that results in a limited power outage, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gen. Keith Alexander did not air his concerns in public, but in private meetings including some at the White House, sources say. Other officials are similarly concerned, but some think the possibility is more like three to five years off.

Anonymous has never mentioned a power blackout plan, but federal officials believe the group is planning to get more destructive, particularly after Anonymous threatened last week to shut down the Internet during "Operation Global Blackout" on March 31. Experts believe the likelihood of such an attack to be low; similarly, an attack on the power grid would produce only limited damage. Grid officials are already adept at fighting regular attacks on their systems, and backup systems are in place in case an attack is successful. One possibility discussed by officials: A foreign government or terrorist group could develop the ability to attack the grid, then outsource the job to Anonymous.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Itchywolf
Feb 22, 2012 8:34 PM CST
Yeah, and also, you know what? They could start World War 3 by whistling into a telephone! They can see you through your monitor! They can even read your mind with a paper clip and some tin foil! They even have a modified Delorean that can go back in time and erase you from existence! If they CAN take down the power grid, I hope they bring down the crooks in wall street. Take all the money out of their accounts and redistribute it to the rest of the country, who actually NEED some money, after being ripped off by the heartless freaks who live in their golden towers. Go anon, go!
fancygapva
Feb 22, 2012 5:11 PM CST
Up until now Anonymous has not been gratuitously destructive. They have launched specific protest attacks. This is just the government setting up to put them on the terror list by trying to scare people about another amorphous and loosely organized group (now that al Qaida is limping into the sunset) that they can use to try to scare people with.
mikech
Feb 22, 2012 3:14 PM CST
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. We need more of your money and freedoms to keep you safe.