A report in the National Journal, claims that Chinese hackers were responsible for a recent power outage in Florida, and the widespread blackout which struck the northeastern US in 2003.
In a literal game of Chinese whispers, the story quotes insecurity experts, who in turn cite unnamed US military intelligence [surely a contradiction in terms. Ed]
The story is that the People's Liberation Army may have cracked the computers controlling the US power grid to trigger the cascading 2003 blackout that cut off electricity to 50 million people in eight states and a Canadian province.
Unfortunately it is not just a bit, but completely, untrue.
At the time investigators blamed 'overgrown trees' that came into contact with strained high-voltage lines near facilities in Ohio owned by FirstEnergy.
No one suggested the trees were a Chinese plant.
But according to Wired, the recent claim is all part of a cunning plan to convince the citizens of the US that they are at grave risk from cyber terrorists.
It all started when intelligence boss Michael McConnell decided that cyber terrorism would be a wizard way of getting warrantless NSA surveillance. He claimed cyber terrorists were costing the US a US$100 billion a year.
But this is the first time that the yarn has been linked to one of the most thoroughly-investigated power incidents in US history.
Next it will be found that Chinese hackers were responsible for the housing credit crunch, Miley Cyrus, television reality talent shows and other atrocities. µ
Chinese hackers blamed for power cuts
By Nick Farrell on Jun 4, 2008 9:58AM