There’s A WMD Hiding In America’s Infrastructure, And It’s Startlingly Easy To Set Off
The U.S. power grid is vulnerable to cyber-attack, and that could be just as damaging as a weapon of mass destruction, according to a major Department of Energy (DOE) report.
In the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review, the DOE urged more investment in cyber-defense while asking lawmakers for emergency powers to deter imminent cyber-attacks. The report also highlighted how a large-scale cyber attack could cost billions of dollars and millions of lives.
“In the current environment, the U.S. grid faces imminent danger from cyber attacks,” reads the report. “Widespread disruption of electric service because of a transmission failure initiated by a cyber attack at various points of entry could undermine U.S. lifeline networks, critical defense infrastructure, and much of the economy; it could also endanger the health and safety of millions of citizens.”
The increased networking of electrical grids worldwide is the weakest link in the U.S. power system. Although new networking allows for various time and money-saving features that make the day-to-day operations simpler, they also make it easier for the grid to be hacked.