FEMA Is Preparing For A Solar Storm That Would Take Out The Grid

 

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) is planning for a massive solar storm that would be so strong, it would take down the power grid.

Noting that the rare, yet “high-consequence” scenario has “the potential for catastrophic impact on our nation and FEMA’s ability to respond.” Continue reading

Total Chaos: Cyber Attack Fears As MULTIPLE CITIES HIT With Simultaneous Power Grid Failures: Shockwave Of Delays In San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York

The U.S. power grid appears to have been hit with multiple power outages affecting San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Officials report that business, traffic and day-to-day life has come to a standstill in San Francisco, reportedly the worst hit of the three major cities currently experiencing outages.

Power companies in all three regions have yet to elaborate on the cause, though a fire at a substation was the original reason given by San Francisco officials. Continue reading

Cyberattack could knock out huge swath of US electric grid, lawmakers say

An attack on the U.S. electrical grid, be it cyberwarfare or an EMP attack, will leave America in the dark for years, not months. Upwards of nine out of ten Americans would perish within a year. Without electricity America can’t even produce its own components needed to put things back online. The the components needed would therefore need to be sourced from either Germany, or, China who’s the one conducting the cyber attacks on America. However, it is a good sign that a pocket full of politicians are waking up.

 

Government officials think the US is unprepared for an attack that could affect power for weeks

The U.S. government is not prepared for a cyberattack on the electrical grid that takes out power over a large area for weeks, or even months.

With some experts worried that a coordinated cyberattack could lead to widespread power outages lasting for several months, the federal government should offer more help to state and local governments planning to deal with the aftermath, Barletta said during a hearing before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Transformation and Infrastructure Committee.

Continue reading

Lights Out: The Top 7 Threats To America’s Power Grid

Revelations earlier last week that hackers linked to Russia attacked and took down the Ukrainian power grid are bringing to light once again major threats to the American power grid.

American homes, industries, and businesses are deeply dependent on reliable electricity, so threats to the consistent delivery of electricity put modern life itself at risk.

“This perfect storm of policies will unavoidably raise electricity prices on Americans and seriously threaten grid reliability,” Warren continued. Continue reading

What Would Happen if a Massive Solar Storm Hit the Earth?

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/1394225260721601574.jpgAn X-class flare captured by NASA on March 6th, 2012. Image Credit: NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center / Flickr

 

We all know that major storms can wreak havoc, flooding cities and decimating infrastructure. But there’s an even bigger worry than wind and rain: space weather. If a massive solar storm hit us, our technology would be wiped out. The entire planet could go dark.

“We’re much more reliant on technology these days that is vulnerable to space weather than we were in the past,” said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He told Gizmodo, “If we were hit by an extreme event today, it’d be very difficult to respond.” Continue reading

Sounding The Alarm On The Country’s Vulnerability To An EMP

Whether the source is a natural phenomenon, a terrorist attack or somehow an honest accident, it’s said 90% of the American population would perish from an EMP. When the power goes off nation-wide, food in grocery stores will spoil, hospital generators will only back everything up for so long and critical medicines will not be able to be produced. This doesn’t include those who pass away in the shock of it all or those killed during civil unrest while fighting over necessities. It would also take years to repair the damage as this would continue going on. It’s also said that America’s lights can be completely turned off from 9 critical substations alone (See also HERE).

 

In the past here at Peak Prosperity, we’ve written extensively on the threat posed by a sustained loss of electrical grid power. More specifically, we’ve warned that the most damaging threat to our grid would come from either a manmade or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

A good friend of mine, Jen Bawden, is currently sitting on a committee of notable political, security and defense experts  — which includes past and present members of Congress, ambassadors, CIA directors, and others — who are equally concerned about this same threat and have recently sent a letter to Obama pleading for action to protect the US grid. Continue reading

Smart cities the world over ripe for hacking, expert says

So-called smart cities, with wireless sensors controlling everything from traffic lights to water management, may be vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to a computer security expert.

Last year, Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher and chief technology officer at IOActive Labs, demonstrated how 200,000 traffic control sensors installed in major hubs like Washington, New York, Melbourne and Lyon were vulnerable to attack. Mr. Cerrudo showed how information coming from these sensors could be intercepted from 1500 feet away — or even by drone — because one company had failed to encrypt its traffic.

Just last Saturday, Mr. Cerrudo tested the same traffic sensors in San Francisco and found that, one year later, they were still not encrypted. Continue reading

The U.S. government thinks China could take down the power grid

Washington (CNN) — China and “probably one or two other” countries have the capacity to shut down the nation’s power grid and other critical infrastructure through a cyber attack, the head of the National Security Agency told a Congressional panel Thursday.

Admiral Michael Rogers, who also serves the dual role as head of U.S. Cyber Command, said the United States has detected malware from China and elsewhere on U.S. computers systems that affect the daily lives of every American.

“It enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure that forestall the ability to provide that service to us as citizens,” Rogers said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Continue reading

Hearing: Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP

Witness: Could kill 9 in 10 Americans

Experts on Capitol Hill Thursday warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nation’s electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead.

“Some would say it’s low probability, but the damage that could be caused in the event of an EMP attack, both by the sun, a solar event, or a man-made attack, would be catastrophic,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas). “We talk a lot about a nuclear bomb in Manhattan, and cybersecurity threat to the power grid in the Northeast, and all of these things would actually probably pale in comparison to the devastation that an EMP attack could perpetrate on Americans.” Continue reading

An electromagnetic pulse attack — the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat

Just what might happen if the Iranians got their hands on a nuclear weapon? Would they fire it at an Israeli city, causing tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties? Or would they use it as a geopolitical weapon, seeking to dominate the Middle East and forcing the hand of Western powers, either subtly or by overtly threatening death and destruction to those who fail to heed their dictates?

While political scientists and world leaders have debated the likelihood of those two possibilities, there is a third plausible scenario: The use of a nuclear weapon by Iran to carry out an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against Israel, the US, or Europe. Such an attack could cause severe damage to the electrical grid in the targeted nations, to the extent that the routines of daily life — centered around the use of electrical power — could be halted, for a short or even long period of time. Continue reading

Panetta Warns of Dire Threat of Cyberattack on U.S.

This has been known for decades and they have had the capability for decades. They being China and Russia. Iran is the only new variable and phenomenon. Chinese chips are used in virtually almost everthing in the United States from home PCs to military fighter jets, ICBM and missile defense networks, and even Pentagon computer networks. When the US has disarmed enough or whenever the Sino-Soviet axis decides it’s tired of the US money printing, they could likely shut down the country with manchurian chips whenever they please.

Studies have shown that this could effectively kill upwards of 100 million Americans as vital infrastructure shuts down or becomes tainted. This includes hospitals, food processing plants, water systems or even pharamaceutical manufacturers that produce medications for the sick and elderly. The nation would be in a full blown crisis.

The warning decades later is scarier than the threat itself. How blind and how far behind is the intelligence community?

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Thursday that the United States was facing the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” and was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could dismantle the nation’s power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government. Continue reading

Is India About to Alter the World’s Energy Future?

Should India successfully pull this off, more power to them.

Since 1951, the Indian government has somehow managed to fail in every single attempt to reach its annual target of increasing the nation’s electricity production capacity. But while the nation continues to struggle with crippling blackouts and power shortages till today, an energy plan, conceived during the 1950s, may fundamentally alter the nation’s, and quite possibly the world’s, energy future.

Thorium, like its Norse god and Marvel superhero namesake, is expected to change the world.

Thorium-Fuelled Dreams

Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical element that is named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Discovered in 1828 by Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, the 90th element on the periodic table has been described by Forbes as possibly “the biggest energy breakthrough since fire.”

According to Greentech Media, Thorium the potential to replace uranium as a ultra-cheap and ultra-safe nuclear energy source. Not only is the metal approximately three times as abundant as uranium in the earth’s crust, but it also contains up to 200 times the energy density.

“So why on earth are we using uranium?” asked Marin Katusa of Forbes. “As you may recall, research into the mechanization of nuclear reactions was initially driven not by the desire to make energy, but by the desire to make bombs.”

“The $2 billion Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb sparked a worldwide surge in nuclear research, most of it funded by governments embroiled in the Cold War. And here we come to it: Thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, which is what you need to make a nuke.”

After decades of relative obscurity however, Thorium is finally attracting increasing interest as an energy source from around the world. Apart from India, China has also announced its intentions to develop a thorium nuclear reactor, while Canada, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have all experimented with using thorium as a substitute nuclear fuel in existing nuclear reactors.

India’s thorium plans though are possibly the most well known and most promising of them all.

Full article: Is India About to Alter the World’s Energy Future? (Oil Price)

Must Read! Russia’s Continued Cold War

While the US continues along the self-destructive utopian path in thinking that a reduction in its strategic nuclear arsenal is a demonstration of moral strength, the Soviets (and a host of other Axis Powers) continue to maintain an advantage and advance their capability. The advantage is not only within their nuclear weapons stockpile, but in a larger Perestroika Deception with the sole aim of convincing the West that the soviets are changing their ways, hence the widely believed myth and engineered perception that Russia today is our “friend”.

In this context, the Cold War never left, but entered a new phase since the time it was declared “dead” by a gullible Western media.

The year is 2012 and it’s still New Lies for Old.

In February 2012, Vladimir Putin, praised the work of Soviet-era KGB spies for having stolen U.S. nuclear secrets to develop their own bombs. “You know, when the [United] States already had nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union was only building them, ‘we got a significant amount of information through Soviet foreign intelligence channels,’” Putin said, according to Itar-Tass. Putin continued, “They were carrying the information away not on microfilm, but literally in suitcases. Suitcases!”

Today, Russia possesses a total of 12,987 nuclear warheads. This is more than the amount owned by the United States and the rest of the world combined. Despite its nuclear supremacy, Russia has an even far more formidable weapon in its military arsenal.

EMP

Since 1963, the Soviet Union has conducted an array of tests with non-nuclear EMP weapons for potential use against the U.S. in a first strike attack. EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of electromagnetic radiation capable of destroying all electrical power, radio waves, and digital signals over a wide area. The burst of electromagnetic radiation moves instantaneously, making ordinary surge protectors useless and would neutralize all electrical equipment, such as computers, laptops, television sets, landline telephones, cellular phones, air conditioners, refrigerators, electric stoves, microwaves, automobiles, airplanes, trains, ATM machines, hospital equipment, computer-run waterways and sewage systems.

Although the number of Russian nuclear weapons has been greatly reduced since the fall of the USSR, Russia’s EMP arsenal is believed to be “at its maximum Cold War strength,” according to retired U.S. Army Colonel Dan Dickerson, who has served as an advisor to the UN, NATO, and Interpol on terrorism and intelligence planning.

In a May 2012 article in The Journal of Counter Terrorism & Homeland Security International, Col. Dickerson wrote, “Russia and China have conducted extensive research into their [EMP] development and possible deployment against the U.S.” In May 1999, Congressman Roscoe G. Barlett (R-Md.) relayed the following:

We met with three of our Russian counterparts on the Duma International Affairs Committee, including its chairman, Vladimir Lukin, and senior Communist Party member Aleksandr Shabonov. The Russians chastised the United States for military aggression in the Balkans and warned Russia was not helpless to oppose Operation Allied Force. Lukin said, “If we really wanted to hurt you with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an SLBM [submarine launched ballistic missile] and detonate a single nuclear warhead at high altitude over the United States and shut down your power grid and communications for six months or so.” Shabonov added, “And if one weapon wouldn’t do it, we have some spares.”

Similar threats has been reiterated by the Russian military. In 2004, Russian Major General Vladimir Belous wrote:

Space-based and ground facilities of the information-reconnaissance system, without which the missile defense system will prove to be “blind,” are especially vulnerable in this sense. During a crisis situation period, “space” mines can be inserted into space. They are dispersed in orbit around enemy objects and, detonating on command from Earth, disable them at the necessary moment. The ‘blinding’ of enemy territory by disabling his electronic power network also is possible. American specialists determined that in case a large nuclear charge were detonated at an altitude of hundreds of kilometers above the geographic center of the United States, the state of Nebraska, a powerful electromagnetic pulse will disable electronic power system on the territory of the entire country for a certain time.

While the threat of a Russian-launched EMP attack against the United States is real, Russia might very well launch one by way of one of its proxies, or surrogate states.

Satellite States

Dr. Peter Vincent Fry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst and staff director of the EMP Commission, stated in 2004 that a group of Russian nuclear scientists had informed him that they had already handed the technology for a “super-EMP” to Iran and North Korea and that Russian scientists have assisted the North Koreans in developing their own EMP weapon.

Full article: Must Read! Russia’s Continued Cold War (Trevor Loudon | New Zeal)

Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyberwar with West: experts

Little do people know, “because power stations are all interconnected,” even in a cyber attack “damage would cascade through the system wiping out equipment that could not be replaced for at least 18 months.”

Iran is busy acquiring the technical know-how to launch a potentially crippling cyber-attack on the United States and its allies, experts told a congressional hearing on Thursday, urging the US to step up its defensive measures.

“Over the past three years, the Iranian regime has invested heavily in both defensive and offensive capabilities in cyberspace,” said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.

“Equally significant, its leaders now increasingly appear to view cyber-warfare as a potential avenue of action against the United States,” he told a House Homeland Security subcommittee.

Full article: Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyberwar with West: experts (Defence Talk)

EMP and the Shield Act

So many years, so many warnings coupled with a growing number of threats — yet, America fails to prepare. This post is not to sound alarmist, but the basics of national security should be covered. Threats from America’s enemies are made on almost a daily basis… and perhaps one day they might follow through.

American and Soviet planners realized that an EMP effect could be used to win a nuclear war. As described by Dr. Pry above, EMP could be used to disrupt or destroy an enemy’s nuclear arsenal. Realizing this potential, the Soviet Union and the United States both developed super-EMP bombs. These weapons produce intense gamma radiation, enhancing the EMP effect so that hardened or protected weapon systems can still be damaged. After successful tests the Russians deployed an unknown number of EMP warheads. On its side, the United States failed to deploy its own version of the super-EMP weapon.

Since proliferation is the word of the day, American experts are now concerned that rogue states have acquired super-EMP technology. In fact, there is evidence that North Korea has developed and deployed its own version of the Russian super-EMP bomb. Russian military officials have privately warned the U.S. government that scientists from the Soviet super-EMP bomb project have been helping the North Koreans. Last Thursday I spoke with Dr. Pry, who said that North Korea may have tested a super-EMP weapon in May 2009. The “signature” of the North Korean test was consistent with a high-gamma output combined with relatively small blast output – of three kilotons.

Pry also described Iranian missile tests which appear to resemble high altitude practice strikes. It is well known that the Iranians and North Koreans have been collaborating. Both regimes consider the United States to be Enemy Number One. The propaganda of both regimes includes the promise that America will be destroyed. How this destruction is accomplished, we are not told. But simple observation of tests and preparations should provide us with a clue.

Even a localized EMP strike could take out the entire U.S. power grid because power stations are all interconnected, and damage would cascade through the system wiping out equipment that could not be replaced for at least 18 months. According to the “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack,” an EMP attack “can damage or disrupt the infrastructure that supplies food to the population of the United States.” Supermarkets typically carry enough food to supply the local population for three days. Without electricity, Americans will starve. Less than two percent of Americans work on farms, according to the Commission report. “An attack that neutralized farming technology would depress U.S. food production.” The food distribution system is even more vulnerable.

The Commission report concludes: “Absolute deprivation of food, on average, will greatly diminish a person’s capacity for physical work within a few days. After 4 to 5 days without food, the average person will suffer from impaired judgment and have difficulty performing simple intellectual tasks. After 2 weeks without food, the average person will be virtually incapacitated. Death typically results after 1 or 2 months without food.”

In a continent-wide EMP attack, between one third and four-fifths of the population would die. As of today, the United States government has taken no action to prepare for this kind of attack, or harden vital systems essential for saving millions of lives. In 2010 Congress tried to pass the Grid Act (HR 5026). After being passed by the House, the Grid Act died in a Senate committee. Today we have a chance to pass another bill, called the “Secure High-Voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act” (the Shield Act). It acknowledges that American lives will be lost without electricity, so the grid must be protected. The cost of the Shield Act is minimal – pennies per month for the average electric bill. A better investment can hardly be imagined.

Full article: EMP and the Shield Act (JR Nyquist)