There doesn’t even need to be any hackers involved. Nine substations being taken out will send America back into the stone ages and claim upwards of 9 out of 10 American lives. That’s how safe the U.S. electrical grid is. The electrical grid in central California has already been attacked with sniper rifles in what’s likely a dry run. It was reported an entire year later after the incident, then whitewashed as a non-threat.
As for the rest of the infrastructure, control of SCADAs is key — something China and Russia likely can manipulate. From there, sewage systems could be forced to flood the streets and medication dosages for the sick and elderly could be manipulated.
The terror group’s hackers have attempted cyberattacks in the U.S., but aren’t skilled enough to succeed, the FBI said. Still, though, ISIL may have the cash to fund cyberattacks on U.S. targets.
“Strong intent. Thankfully, low capability,” John Riggi, a section chief in the FBI’s cyber division, told CNN. “But the concern is that they’ll buy that capability.”
Riggi said that hacking software that could threaten American power grids can be bought on the black market. The FBI said ISIL has its sights set on hacking the networks of energy companies, fuel refineries, or water-pumping stations.
“Hackers can’t take down the entire, or even a widespread portion of the U.S. electric grid,” Jonathan Pollet, founder of Red Tiger Security, wrote for Business Insider. “From a logistical standpoint, this would be far too difficult to realistically pull off — and it’s not what we should be devoting our attention to.
“What is more realistic is for a cyberattack to cripple an individual utility, causing a blackout or disruption of service at the local level.”
Full article: FBI warn ISIL hackers plan local blackouts in U.S. power grid (World Tribune)