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In November 2011, hackers using an IP address in Russia attacked a water plant in Illinois. The hackers were able to turn a water pump on and off so frequently that it broke. While the incident caused no other damage and did not shut down the water system, it was the first known instance of a malicious foreign attack on this nation’s critical infrastructure, and it demonstrated how vulnerable such vital services as waterworks, the electrical grid, oil and gas pipelines and the telecom system are to hackers. It also lent urgency to efforts in Congress to enact legislation to make critical industries less vulnerable to attack.

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