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In the News Attack of the Cyberworm

January 23, 2009

“I don't know if you'd be able to take down the whole [power] grid, but I know that you could take down significant pieces of it.”
Anonymous hacker

"This is a really well-written worm," one computer security expert said, of the insidious digital invader that in recent weeks may have infected as many as 9 million computers around the world. Conficker, as it is called, or Downadup, is a chilling reminder of just how vulnerable our ever more wired world is to cyber-attack, and how little progress has been made in guarding against it.

FRONTLINE first reported this story over five years ago, in a program called Cyber War!, which explored the already serious threat that cyber-terrorism posed to our national security. Sadly, not much has changed since then. Case in point: the nation's power grid, which the program identified as a particularly vulnerable target, and which remains so today. You can see that excerpt on this page, or watch the entire hour, and dig into the accompanying materials, on the program Web site.

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