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