Feeds

Electrical supe charged with damaging California canal system

Facing 10 years

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A former employee for a federally-owned canal system in California was charged with installing software that damaged a computer used to divert water out of a local river.

Michael Keehn, of Willows, California, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Federal court documents claim the former electrical supervisor with the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority "intentionally caused damage without authorization to a protected computer."

The TCCA operates two canals that move water out of the Sacramento River for using in irrigation and agriculture in Northern California. As part of its duties, the TCCA uses a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to regulate the system.

Attempts to reach Keehn for comment were not successful. A report found here quoted Keehn as saying "I'm sure I did something to cause it" but that he wasn't entirely sure. Keehn worked for the TCCA for more than 17 years before being fired on August 15, the date he is alleged to have installed the unauthorized software.

The security of SCADA systems has emerged as a sensitive issue in the post 9-11 world. In 2000, a disgruntled former employee for a water system in Australia used a SCADA system to spill raw sewage into waterways, hotel grounds and canals in the area, according to this article from ComputerWorld. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.