The Islamic State is trying to hack American electrical power companies — but they are terrible at it. U.S. law enforcement officials revealed the hack attempts on Wednesday at a conference of American energy firms who were meeting about national security concerns. “ISIL is beginning to perpetrate cyberattacks,” Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told company executives. Investigators would not reveal any details to CNNMoney — or cite evidence of specific incidents. But they did say the attacks by the Islamic State have been unsuccessful. Terrorists are not currently using the most sophisticated hacking tools to break into computer systems and turn off or blow up machines.
“Strong intent. Thankfully, low capability,” said John Riggi, a section chief at the FBI’s cyber division. “But the concern is that they’ll buy that capability.”Indeed, hacking software is up for sale in black markets online. That’s often how mafias acquire the cyber weapons they use to break into companies and steal giant databases of information they later sell to fraudsters. The FBI now worries that the Islamic State or its supporters will buy malicious software that can sneak into computers and destroy electronics. An attack on power companies could disrupt the flow of energy to U.S. homes and businesses. CONTINUE