Several power utilities say they face a barrage of cyber attacks on their critical systems, a report by two Democratic lawmakers found echoing warnings from the Obama administration that foreign hackers were trying to bring down the U.S. power grid.
California Representative Henry Waxman released the report, co-authored with Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey, at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s cybersecurity hearing on Tuesday.
The pair asked some 160 utilities to describe their experiences fighting cyber attacks over the past five years. In response, more than a dozen said they experienced daily, constant or frequent attempted cyber attacks, according to a 35-page report summarizing their responses.
But utilities termed the report as overblown, saying their systems were adequately protected through mandatory standards set by the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) that ensure separation of control systems and consumer-facing or administrative networks.
But many lawmakers echoed some senior White House officials in expressing fear that while they do not know of any successful attack on the power grid, hackers may have that ability.
Tuesday’s report cited an unidentified Northeastern power provider as saying it was under constant attack from cyber criminals as well as activist groups who have been targeting firms in the energy sector over the past few years.
A power provider from the Midwest said it experienced daily probes of its systems: “Much of this activity is automated and dynamic in nature, able to adapt to what is discovered during its probing process,” the company said.
Full article: Some US Utilities Say They’re Under Constant Cyber Attack (Newsmax)