Government Officials Believe U.S. Not Prepared for Electrical Grid Cyberattack

Posted on April 14, 2016 by .

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The electrical grid in the United States of America has long been an alleged target for cybercrooks and potentially terrorists who have the proper hacking abilities. So far, knock on wood, the vast electrical grids in America have never succumbed to a cyberattack. However, the U.S. government is believed not to be prepared for a cyberattack, which officials believe could lead to a massive power outage for weeks or months if such happens.

There has been a major up-rise in cyberattacks in the past few years. Undoubtedly, many of the attacks have resulted in the take-down of many websites, some of which were high profile sites. When it comes to the power grid in America, there are many contingency plans and security protection measures in place to help prevent such attacks. With that said, the possibility of taking down a massive portion of the electrical grid in the US is not entirely impossible.

Government officials are stirring the pot by suggesting that coordinated cyberattacks could undermine parts of the electrical grid in America to have a lasting effect that leaves millions without power for weeks on end to potentially months.

“Imagine what we would do without electricity for a day, a week, a month, a year,” said Lou Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican official. He added, “If the goal of the bad guys is to collapse the United States’ economic system, they are going to try to cut off the power.”

During a hearing before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Transformation and Infrastructure Committee, Barletta implied that a targeted cyberattack could have lasting effects on an attacked power grid. Furthermore, such an attack would catch the government off guard to the point that there are no plans to deal directly with the backlash and repercussions of an unfortunate power grid cyberattack event.

There is always the likelihood that the government is not spilling the beans on their contingencies and protection of the power grid during a cyberattack. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has had the upper hand in planning for a grid take-down, no matter if it is caused by a natural disaster or cyberattack. Though, the surmounting effects of rescuing people trapped in elevators or are in need of power equipment for keeping them alive could be dire consequences in a long-term power outage.

Bottom line, proper planning needs to be implemented along with the proactive protection from cyberattacks on the power grid before it is too late. The warnings are not to be taken lightly – the time to act is now because cybercrooks are not stopping at anything in their planned attacks.

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