Did MS Blaster crash the power grid?

Between power outages and worm scares, I've been too busy to sleep, bathe, or buy food. Apache has eaten everything in the house and is now gnawing old copies of Accidental Empires. That dog can stomach anything.

Dark thoughts: Pammy called me paranoid when I told her the Big Blackout was caused by the Microsoft Worm, but that's the hot rumor on BugTraq, Slashdot, and other Net geekfests. The FBI and CERT pooh-pooh the theory, but some aren't convinced. Many plants on the grid run a Windows-based SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system that receives remote commands through the same RPC (Remote Procedure Call) protocol exploited by MSBlaster. Among other things, SCADA systems control the amount of energy each plant produces.

I talked with one plant insider who says the worm theory is possible but not likely. "It would have to be a major breakdown in the plant's software protection scheme," he said. A more likely sabotage scenario? An inside job by a techie ticked off at his employers. So far nobody knows the real cause, but if Oliver Stone is reading this, I'll sell the movie rights for a Linux notebook and 5 percent of the gross.

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