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

From: BStern (btstern_at_att.net)
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 otherwise...no 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" <bernxard@yahoo.com.au> wrote in message
news:D8U_a.34388$bo1.5907@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
>
> "Ron Bennett" <bennett@wyomissing.com> wrote in message
> news:bhh0cv$k9h@library2.airnews.net...
> > In article <T%S_a.86$as.49@fe03.atl2.webusenet.com>,
> > stargazer@hotmail.com says...
> > >
> > >"Ron Bennett" <bennett@wyomissing.com> wrote in message
> > >news:bhguia$k9h@library2.airnews.net...
> > >> 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)
that
> 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
link
> to display graphics of the plant, the data and to allow centralised
control
> 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
software
> so that it can use laplink or someting similar to service the computer.
The
> 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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