A hostile nation could shut down our power grid


hacking power gridBy Anthony Gutierrez

In the wake of a recent hacker attack that shut down electricity in Ukraine, U.S. cyber experts have upgraded their warnings to utility companies about the potential of hostile nations to disrupt the domestic power grid.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have been touring the nation giving briefings to infrastructure leaders about the potential for foreign hackers to surreptitiously bypass security measures, commandeer master controls and even wipe out systems.

In the case of Ukraine, cyber attackers linked to Russia crashed the power grid for several hours on Dec. 23rd leaving 289 cities and towns either completely or partially blacked out. At the same time, perpetrators bombarded and overloaded the phone response system with spurious calls to divert administrators’ attention and prolong the shut down.

The malicious software attack was seen as part of the military conflict in which Russia has supported the pro-Russian Crimean separatists of Eastern Ukraine.

Ultimately, the Ukraine restored power by manually turning on switches. In the U.S., such a solution might not be so simple because of the greater dependence on computer automation.

“It is only a matter of the ‘when’ — not the ‘if,’” said Mike Rogers, head of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, in a speech March 2, as reported by the Jewish Voice news. “We’re going to see a nation-state, group or actor engage in destructive behavior against critical infrastructure in the United States. Read the rest of the article.

Anthony Gutierrez wrote this article as an assignment for my English class at Santa Monica’s Lighthouse Christian Academy.

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7 responses to “A hostile nation could shut down our power grid

  1. I know. This is absolutely terrifying. Should the power grid ever go down, people would actually be forced to communicate with one another. Families would instantly panic and children would totally freak out. 🙂

    I’m really only half joking, our emotional dependence on technology is nothing to sneeze at. People don’t even know how to dial a telephone anymore or conduct an economic transaction. I live in the boonies, so here a power outage means no gasoline, no groceries, no phones, no banking, no access to medications. Everything comes to a crashing halt, a complete stand still. It didn’t used to be like that, but people no longer know how to adapt.

  2. I agree with you, insanity, on all counts, including the ironic humor in your first paragraph. Overall, a major attack of some kind on America is inevitable. Never in history has such a blessed nation turned its back on and mocked the One who has blessed it.

  3. We’ve never had to deal with such a disaster in generations. It’s almost impossible to imagine. We’re on the track with the train coming, and we can’t believe it will truly hit us even though it’s right in front of us. Very, very scary!

  4. I don’t “like” the situation, but I like it that the word is getting out. This is another powerful reminder to trust in God, not man.

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