Hackers cause damage in the real world
One of the things that the US and other governments have feared is that hackers will be able to get into systems of critical services and cause damage in the real world. That nightmare hacking situation has come true according to reports. Hackers gained access into a water processing plant where they gained access to the control system of the plant according to The Register.
Once they had access to the control system, software the hackers were able to destroy a water pump at the plant. According to a managing partner for Applied control systems, the hackers gained access to the supervisory control and data acquisition system that the utility company used. From there the hackers could have stolen user names and passwords to the plant.
Apparently, the water company had been having issues with the software for weeks before the breech. The pump that was damaged was reportedly "burned out" by causing the SCADA system that controlled it to cycle on and off repeatedly. Imagine if this hack had been into a more important system at a large power company, what sort of damage could have been done.