Hacktivist group Anonymous is collectively denying reports that it could seek to shut down portions of the US power grid.
The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in reporting that the US National Security Agency NSA believes an attack from the group in the next one to two years could lead to limited power outages and damage to infrastructure.
Anonymous has made government organisations and police groups a favourite target for its online attacks. The group has taken down sites and disclosed information on officials as part of its campaign.
However, the group denied that it wishes to take its actions any further and risk harming civilians with an attack on the power grid. A post to the AnonOps blog dismissed the claim, stating that such an attack would "make no sense."
"Why should Anonymous shut off power grid?" the blog asked.
"They just want to make you feel afraid."
The sentiment was further echoed by the Anonymous IRC feed, which suggested that the NSA report was a reaction to the group's opposition to the proposed US Cyber Security Act of 2012
"Don't let them fool you, NSA et al WILL try to set (Anonymous) up in this charade," AnonymousIRC tweeted.
"The news are already in the making."
While Anonymous may not be planning to target critical infrastructure any time soon, researchers have warned that a number of the SCADA controllers charged with managing power plants and facilities are dangerously vulnerable to remote hijacking.
While experts differ in their views on the scope of such attacks, many believe that an attacker could at least cause a partial disruption of power systems for extended areas.
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