By Kartikay Mehrotra From Bloomberg News When the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was hacked in 2018, it took a mere six hours. Early this year, an intruder lurked in hundreds of computers related to water systems across the United States. In Portland, Oregon, burglars installed malicious computers onto a grid providing power to a chunk of the Northwest. Two of those cases—L.A. and Portland—were tests. The water threat was real, discovered by cybersecurity firm Dragos. All three drive home a point long known but, until recently, little appreciated: the digital security of U.S. computer networks controlling the machines that produce and distribute water and power is woefully inadequate, a low priority for operators and regulators, posing a terrifying national threat. “If we have a new world war tomorrow and have to worry about protecting infrastructure against a cyberattack from Russia or China, then no, I don’t think …

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