With terrorism running rampant and higher numbers of cyber threats, it’s no longer a question of if the electrical system will be taken down, but when it’s going to happen.
The California Independent System Operator protects the system from millions of attempted hacks each month.
And, the U.S. government is concerned about this. Officials have ordered the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to war-game a total shut down of the U.S. power system during a cyberattack. It’s an exercise they run regularly.
The Department of Homeland Security announced hackers – thought to be Russian – were able to access several U.S. utility control rooms and could have thrown switches, resulting in a loss of power. A loss of air conditioning, heat, ability to buy food, etc. In the report, it said Russian government cyber attackers had targeted many of the U.S.’ critical infrastructure areas – aviation, energy, nuclear and water. It’s also targeted government entities and important manufacturing sectors.
It’s not just the Russians either. North Koreans, Chinese and other terrorist states have been going after the power grid. Even worse, home-grown terrorists are doing it.
And, it’s just a matter of time.
It’s important to make a plan now because it’s no longer if it’ll happen, but when it will.