What It Would Really Take to Knock Out the Power Grid

The American homeland is one attack on only nine substations away from going in the dark. A critical portion also doesn’t even need to be hacked, as sniper rifle fire was enough to already get the job done on one power station in April of 2013. If the bad guys only wanted to wreak havoc instead of 100% destruction, they would take advantage of the vulnerable SCADA system, where medication dosages for example, could be manipulated.

Sadly, the most of what’s being done to mitigate such threats are only warnings written in articles like this. There’s a lot of lights and cameras, but no action.

 

 

As our electrical system lifts itself out of the stone age, the defense built around it will require added vigilance.

My favorite joke when I was 5 years old was, “Where will you be when the lights go out?” The answer, of course, is “in the dark,” though I used to make my very patient sister guess a bunch of other places first, which I used to think was absolutely hilarious.

We are fortunate that in this country having the lights unexpectedly go out is actually a pretty big deal, and quite rare. You don’t have to wonder whether the light will come on when you throw the switch, or if your computer will have enough power to boot up. The sodas in the fridge are always cold and our showers are always warm. It always just happens, so we more or less take it for granted. Continue reading

Weekend Attacks on Arkansas’ Electric Grid Leave 10,000 Without Power; ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.

Another interesting factor in attacks on the U.S. critical infrastructure is the exploiting of SCADAS. It’s been evidenced quite a few times that these have been compromised.

Here is one such example: UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

More than 10,000 people in Arkansas were dumped into a blackout Sunday following an attack on that state’s electric grid, the FBI said today, the third such attack in recent weeks. In August, a major transmission line in the region, around Cabot, Ark., was deliberately cut.

The FBI said that two power poles had been intentionally cut in Lonoke County on Sunday, resulting in the outage.

The FBI said it would pay a $25,000 reward for information about the attacks.

And for good reason. The FBI suspects these attacks are linked with a third incident in September. Continue reading