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Russians are hacking our electric grid. Where’s the urgency on this escalating threat?

CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary on Electric Grid

A must-read story from usatoday.com says an interesting story on foreign hackers effectively sits in our power supply room. We need a national plan to make our grid as insurmountable as possible.

There is no doubt: In the warning issued on March 15, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI confirmed that Russian hackers have infiltrated the U.S. grid and may shut down our power plants at any time.

They will not be able to shut down the entire grid at once, nor will it be possible to cause a life-threatening catastrophe to our safe nuclear power plant. But these things need not cause major economic losses, social unrest and threats to public health and safety. In fact, the removal of more than a dozen large power plants at major locations throughout the country may lead to grids for weeks, weeks or even longer, depending on the damages caused.

This is the correct fear of the American public. In a survey initiated this month by Protect Our Power, a group of professionals dedicated to strengthening the grid, 66% of respondents said they were unprepared for prolonged power outages, and 67% of respondents said they would It is expected that important financial or quality of life will cause damage in the event of a prolonged outage.

The federal agency’s warning last week was not surprising. It recently issued similar warnings, including a confidential report issued in June last year, covering a series of narrower activities targeting nuclear power, energy, and manufacturing in the United States, although there was no specific one for the March 15 warning. content.

The most frightening problem is that prior warning does not seem to create a sense of urgency in the Congress, the federal agency that regulates the supply of electricity, or the utility company that owns and operates the grid. To say that the activities are happening, but the speed seems to match the escalating threat we are now facing.

A few months ago, the Department of Homeland Security stated that the campaign was underway and that hackers were actively seeking long-term goals for accessing and manipulating the internal computer networks in the power industry. It now appears that they have achieved at least some success and done relatively quickly.

This raises two key questions: What is the next step for hackers? What do we need to do to stop them?

A relatively simple but very effective way of damaging industry and impeding the U.S. economy is to manipulate or control our grid – a wide network of highly interconnected power plants, wires, poles and transformers, providing power critical services for homes, businesses and homes Provider daily. The position of Puerto Rico is a painful example of the damage and confusion caused by prolonged power outages.

U.S. policy: watching games, justice, media

The complexity of grid operation and management presents real challenges when trying to take important steps in cyber security. However, it can be clearly seen from the voting that the American public understands the need for coordination among various agencies and entities, and expects the government to become a leader that allows related parties to stand on the same page, and urgently take concrete measures to ensure the safety of the power grid.

Without cohesiveness, targeted leadership and financial support, decentralized power grid upgrades may only achieve limited success. On the plus side, advanced technologies are making it easier than ever to make grid improvements. What we need to build now is a large-scale public-private partnership that combines the necessary expertise and financing to support the grid as soon as it becomes more difficult to achieve.

By ensuring that cyber attacks target other critical infrastructure areas – nuclear power, water, aviation, and manufacturing – all of these require a reliable power supply to fulfill their socially-critical functions and pay for an additional stock by investing in the power grid.

Starting today, with foreign entities effectively sitting in our power supply control room, it must become a necessary condition for a country: to clearly identify the places where grid improvement and upgrading are needed; to formulate a collective national plan to promote key short- and long-term grids Improve; implement any necessary regulatory reforms to ensure that our large power systems are able to withstand the threats we face; and identify public and private funding mechanisms, including those that may use taxation.

Foreign hackers are effectively sitting in our power supply rooms. We need a national plan to make our electric grid as impenetrable as possible. A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. The current and former chiefs of the Homeland Security Department defended themselves on Capitol Hill as senators pressed them on past lapses in state election security and how the country is defending those systems in the 2018 elections. (March 21) AP An electric tower next to wind turbines. (Photo: Getty Images) There can no longer be any doubt: In a warning issued March 15, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI confirmed that Russian hackers have infiltrated the U.S. electric grid and may well have the ability to shut down our power plants at will. It is unlikely that they could shut down the entire grid at once, or that they could wreak life-threatening havoc at our well-secured nuclear plants. But neither of those things are necessary to cause major economic damage, social unrest and threats to public health and safety. In reality, taking out a dozen large power plants in key locations across the country could hamstring our electric grid for days, weeks or… Engaging post, Read More…

thumbnail courtesy of usatoday.com

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