Foreign Cyberspies Threaten Electrical Grid
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 8:15 PM CDT
Foreign cyberspies have infiltrated the US electricity grid, intelligence experts say.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – It may sound like a B-grade espionage thriller, but foreign cyberspies have infiltrated the US electrical grid and stand ready to wreak havoc at the right moment, the Wall Street Journal reports. The foreign hackers—from China, Russia, and elsewhere—have left behind software programs that could theoretically allow them to bring mayhem to the grid. Security officials say, however, that they're not sure about the hackers' motives and don't see an immediate threat.

"There are intrusions, and they are growing," said a former Homeland Security official. "There were a lot last year." The exact identities of the hackers are impossible to determine, but the big trails lead to Russia and China, and the sophistication of the intrusions suggests foreign governments. Intelligence officials fear the cybertraps could be sprung during a time of crisis or even war.