Intruder alert. Hacking the electrical grid

Former CIA director James Woolsey turned “green hawk” cleantech venture capitalist asks a panel at a Google/Brookings conference what is being done to prevent our aging electrical grid from being hacked, with potentially serious damage resulting. He cites two major blackouts he believes were caused by “Chinese paragovernmental hackers.”

While some panelists thought he might have overstated the case,  “the grid now is too inefficient to be taken out” completely (golly, how reassuring) but the “capacity to destroy hardware” through attacks exists now and there is a “very real security threat from doing nothing.”

Interestingly, a primary way to prevent attacks is by decentralizing the grid, which is precisely what we need to do anyway as we create additional sources of renewable energy and make the grid smarter and more resilient.

Earth2Tech has more.

One comment

  1. The China connection was a total hoax.

    In fact, the whole “cyber-armageddon” paradigm in which one completely disables an opponent with hacking is seen as a bit of fantasy by security strategists, along the lines of super drugs and sleeper cells. Much the same way a sleeper cell seems catastrophically dangerous but is quite impossible to create and maintain, a cyber attack able to render an enemy completely defenseless and disabled would be an amazing albeit unattainable and impossible offensive capability. When you’re dealing with military THEORY on the level of state vs state, it’s very simple for the imagination to run wild.

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