Timeline: Critical infrastructure attacks increase steadily in past decade

A look back at noteworthy cyberattacks on utilities, ports, pipelines and more throughout the years

By Mari Keefe, Computerworld |  Security

Sabotage of California's Tehama Colusa Canal Authority: A former employee of a small California canal system installs unauthorized software and damages a computer used to divert water from the Sacramento River.

Source: Computerworld

2009/2010

Operation Aurora: A persistent and sophisticated cyberspying operation attempts to siphon intellectual property from major corporations, including Google, Intel, Symantec and Adobe.

Source: Computerworld

2009

Spies breach electricity grid in U.S.: According to current and former national security officials, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, cyberspies from China, Russia and other countries penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

2010

Stuxnet: The Stuxnet worm temporarily knocks out some of the centrifuges at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, causing considerable delay to that country's uranium enrichment program. In June 2012, The New York Times reports that the U.S. and Israel developed the worm.

Source: Computerworld

2011

The Nitro Attacks: A series of targeted attacks using an off-the-shelf Trojan horse called "Poison Ivy" is directed mainly at companies involved in the research, development and manufacture of chemicals and advanced materials. After tricking targeted users into downloading Poison Ivy, the attackers issue instructions to the compromised computers, troll for higher-level passwords and eventually offload the stolen content to hacker-controlled systems.

Source: Computerworld

2011

Duqu Trojan: A remote-access Trojan (RAT) designed to steal data from computers it infects targets vendors of industrial control systems.

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