U.S. utilities and industries face a rising number of cyber break-ins by attackers using more sophisticated methods, says a Washington Post report.

"Acting DHS Deputy Undersecretary Greg Schaffer told reporters Thursday that the world’s utilities and industries increasingly are becoming vulnerable as they wire their industrial machinery to the Internet," the report says.

Control System Security Program cyber experts based at the Idaho National Laboratory responded to 116 requests for assistance in 2010, and 342 so far this year, the report says.

Edwards said that several years ago he had asked the German company Siemens to study the same kind of industrial controllers used at Natanz for vulnerabilities to attack, because they were so widely used in industry.

U.S. officials and others long have feared that future wars will include cyber assaults on the industries and economies of adversaries, and the potential targets include power plants, pipelines and air traffic control systems, the report says. "Foreign nations could also target military control systems, including those used for communications, radar and advanced weaponry."