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Wall Street Journal: Cyberspies Infiltrated US Electrical Grid

A U.S. newspaper is reporting that spies using the Internet have infiltrated control systems of the U.S. electrical supply network and planted computer programs that could be used to disrupt electricity service.

The report in The Wall Street Journal cites current and former national security officials as saying the spies are from China, Russia and other countries.

It says a senior intelligence official said the Chinese and Russians have attempted to map U.S. infrastructure.

The report says a senior intelligence official says the computer software tools left behind could be used to destroy infrastructure components, and officials are concerned the programs would be used in times of war or crisis. The report says officials say water, sewage and other infrastructure systems were also at risk.

But it says officials do not believe there is an immediate danger. The report says Russian and Chinese officials have denied any involvement in cyberspying.

A Pentagon official said Tuesday the Defense Department has spent $100 million in the past six months responding to cyber attacks.

In testimony to Congress last month, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair warned of a growing threat to cyberspace as terrorists expand their use of tactics and techniques. He said the U.S. has to keep strengthening its cyber defenses.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.