Re: Great Blackout of 2003 Caused by MSBlast Computer Worm?

From: BStern (
Date: 08/15/03

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 01:33:40 GMT

NY here...Buffalo area...have power again...but it comes and goes...the one
story we have heard is that there was a lightning strike in Niagara
Falls...but the weather reports indicate nasty weather to be
seen...then heard it originated in Manhattan....who knows...I just hope it
stays on or the hospital will be a fun place to work tonight....

Remember Lot's Wife
"The Enlightenment" <> wrote in message
> "Ron Bennett" <> wrote in message
> news:bhh0cv$
> > In article <T%S_a.86$>,
> > says...
> > >
> > >"Ron Bennett" <> wrote in message
> > >news:bhguia$
> > >> After viewing various news reports, I for one, can't help wonder if
> > the
> > >> blackout was caused by the MSBlast computer worm and/or its varients.
> > >>
> > >> Do any of the power stations, in particular in New York City where
> > it's
> > >> thought the blackout originated, rely on Microsoft products for their
> > >> critical services/networks; are the private networks truly protected?
> > >>
> > >> Ron Bennett
> > >
> > >I heard the blackout originated in Canada
> >
> > Some of the more detailed news reports have indicated otherwise. It's
> > currently believed that a power station in New York City for whatever
> > reason (likely went out of phase) destabilized a portion of the grid and
> > thus resulting in power shutdowns to prevent propagation of the problem.
> >
> > Notwithstanding, I still wonder if the MSBlast worm or varient had
> > anything to do with this great blackout...
> >
> > 1. Do power utilities rely on Microsoft products for critical functions?
> It's likely that the control of the equipement is handeled by PLC
> (programmable logic controllers) and DCS (Distributed Control Systems)
> do not rely on Windows for their core logic.
> However there is a high probability that Windows was involved as the
> platform for the SCADA  (supervisory control and data acquisition) this is
> the software than is usually added to a PLC or DCS system via a seriel
> to display graphics of the plant, the data and to allow centralised
> by a single opperators.
> A prudent designe would still have manual switches and dials and displays.
> >
> > 2. Do grid operators and power producers have *truly* secure
> > communication networks - are they connected to the internet in any way?
> It would be very foolish to do so.  They are aware of the problems.  There
> may be a dial-up link to the engineering company that supplied the
> so that it can use laplink or someting similar to service the computer.
> opperators would have to start lap link to allow this.
> >
> > 3. Historically, have there ever been any reports of computer worms,
> > viruses, etc causing problems anywhere at power utility companies?
> >
> > Ron Bennett
> >

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