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Hacker Group Anonymous Could Soon Be Able to Cause Limited Power Outage (Report)

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Experts disagree on the extent of the threat posed by the group, which has mainly focused on embarrassing companies and government targets, but has vowed to shut down the Internet on March 31.

NEW YORK - Hacker group Anonymous could within a year or two have the ability to cause a limited power outage through a cyber attack, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, shared the warning in meetings at the White House and in other private sessions, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

He has publicly warned about an emerging ability by hackers to possibly disable or damage computer networks.

Anonymous is a group of loosely affiliated "hacktivists" who have used cyber assaults on U.S. companies and government targets mainly to make a point or embarrass the targets.

The Journal said that experts disagree on the extent of the threat and possible future Anonymous actions. The group has never mentioned a power blackout among its goals.

But last week, Anonymous said it would shut down the Internet on March 31, even though experts consider the likelihood of that happening to be low, according to the Journal.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai