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[] Authorities Look At Possible Hacker Angle In Power Outage,

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Authorities Look At Possible Hacker Angle In Power Outage 

Reported by: Julie O'Neill
Web produced by: Stacy Puzo
Photographed by: 9News
Last updated: 8/14/03 10:37:26 PM 

The major power outage that hit the northeastern U.S. and Canada has
many people asking if this could be the work of a computer hacker. 

When the FBI says this was not a terrorist attack, they mean nothing was
blown up to cause this. But the fact is, computer experts say, no one
knows if a malicious hacker caused the software failure that led to this
power outage. 

When you hear "power grid," picture all of the connections between a
power plant and your home and understand that our whole nation is
connected into one big grid, but sectioned off. 

Some experts say the power failure continued to spread across the
eastern interconnect of our nation's powergrid because of a software
failure, but could it have been the work of cyber criminals? 

PC-On Call founder Steve Pollak is skeptical. 

"If you believe in mission impossible probabilities it could happen.
There's millions of lines of code, there's huge amounts of data. I'm
sure there's flaws, I'm sure there are ways in but it could be very
difficult, very complex it would have to be very well planned, but
ultimately it's probably possible," said Pollak. 

And counter-terrorism expert Richard Clark said during ABC's coverage
that we cannot discount possible terrorism. 

"Three weeks ago the Homeland Security Department announced there was a
potential cyber security threat that hackers might be going after
critical infrastructure sometime in August," said Clark. 

Clark says over the next days and weeks they're going to have to do
computer forensic work to see if there was hacking involved in what

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