Schneier: Generator Hack Staged, Dubious

Prominent security specialist Bruce Schneier has an interesting post today about the Department of Homeland Security’s claim that it has been able to destroy a diesel generator with an electronic attack. Schneier posted an anonymous email he received that challenges the interpretation of the report and video, which were widely circulated. An excerpt:

By the way – they were unable to hurt the generator you see in the video but did destroy the shaft that drives it and the power unit. They triggered the event from 30 miles away! Then they extrapolated the theory that a malfunctioning generator can destroy not only generators at the power company but the power glitches on the grid would destroy motors many miles away on the electric grid that pump water or gasoline (through pipelines).

As usual, the resulting discussion in the comments at Bruce’s blog is lively, opinionated and informative.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.