Criminals hacking into computers and locking down power systems could be more of a real threat, considering that the CIA may choose to make such information public.

An excerpt from PC World:

“We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,” said CIA analyst Tom Donahue in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference’s organizers, the SANS Institute. “In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.”

The announcements suggest that security measures in networking critical utility projects need serious attention, especially when it comes to adding more functionality and access to utility projects.

More information:

CIA: Hackers Shook Up Power Grids (Updated) (Wired)

Hackers Have Attacked Foreign Utilities, CIA Analyst Says (Washington Post)