Kremlin-connected cyber criminals are capable of turning off our electric power from afar, while power plant employees watch helplessly. In the last two weeks, the federal Department of Homeland Security held four briefings warning that Russian hackers are already practicing how to throw the switch and cause a blackout in the U.S.
We’d have no lights, no gas at the pump, no life support in hospitals, no mass transit, no food supply.
Yet nearly all Washington pols are ignoring the danger. To the public, “power” means electricity. But to self-absorbed politicians, “power” means elections, votes, and protecting their seats. That disconnect explains why they’re in a frenzy over Russians hacking into campaign email accounts and tweeting unflattering things about Hillary Clinton, instead of dealing with the far larger peril of Russians hacking into the electric grid.
Russians have invaded over a hundred electric power companies in the U.S. in the last four years. DHS reports these Russians “got to the point where they could have thrown switches” and shut off power but did not.
In Ukraine, they did. They flipped the switches on three Ukrainian utilities on December 23, 2015. On that chilly night, local engineers in control rooms sat helplessly as cyber criminals operated controls remotely, plunging hundreds of thousands of people into frigid darkness.
The U.S. is harder to cripple than Ukraine. America has not one but rather three power grids fed by 8,000 generating plants and several thousand distribution utilities. Con Edison uses different software from Pacific Gas & Electric. That decentralization means even a successful attack would likely affect only a region, not the entire nation.
Protecting the electric supply is the government’s job. Sadly, most members of Congress are all-consumed with protecting their own line of work instead — getting reelected.
Read more here.
Also read SCADA Vulnerable to Cyber Attack and EMPs.
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