The United States pioneered the use of cyber weapons when it shattered Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in 2010 but such devastating tools have spread and are now boomeranging to make industrial digital sabotage a growing concern to the United States.
The weapons can wreak destruction and kill people. Experts say cyber weapons can turn off power grids, derail trains, cause offshore oil rigs to list, turn petrochemical plants into bombs and shut down factories.
Twice in the past eight months, federal authorities have issued public warnings that foreign hackers are seeking to penetrate the U.S. electric grid and other parts of national critical infrastructure. The intent: Insert digital grenades that are dormant until the hacker’s sponsor pulls the pin.