Article first published as We are “UNDER A CONSTANT STATE OF ATTACK” on Technorati. ~ What would YOU and your family do in a power outage? I don’t mean a few minutes, or hours. Think about it for a minute. What would happen if it was an extended outage lasting days, weeks, or even MONTHS?
Sit down a moment and think about everything you do that requires electricity. Your cell phone, computer, house lights certainly. Then there is all the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer, a loss… What about stores and gas stations unable to pump fuel? Your car can’t run anymore.
To create the Electric Grid Vulnerability report, Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) sent 15 questions to more than 150 power utilitiy providers. While their responses are alarming, what is even more shocking is that this isn’t anything new, or a secret, just that the general public doesn’t realize what is really happening.
“The electric power grid in the United States is vulnerable to attacks that have already begun” states former CIA Director R. James Woolsey in remarks he made just this past April.
All right, “So what” you say? A few hackers shut down power to a few places, whats the big deal, the power companies will fix it and get power back on quickly.
We aren’t talking about a few simple downed power lines here.
What if the generators and power plants were destroyed? Seriously, what would happen if hackers sitting at a computer on the other side of the world were able to physically destroy generators en masse?
Let’s say that these aren’t just your independent hackers mischievously snooping around some systems for fun and bragging rights. Lets imagine these are trained armies of hackers from China, or some other less than friendly country launching a cyber attack at the USA with the full intent to bring down the national power grid, leaving the United States in the dark for a very long time. The news is filled with these issues.
Impossible? Watch this. Back in 2007, a “proof-of-concept attack” was part of an experiment named “Aurora” conducted at the Department of Energy’s Idaho lab. Here is a video showing the generator quaking and tearing itself apart inside as bolts are sheared off, after which clouds of white and black smoke shoot forth from the engine.
Now imagine that happening on an organized attack against multiple sites across the country. Power companies can’t build/replace massive generators that easily, or quickly. Sure, they may have one or two spare generators on hand if one fails, but if 30, 50, 100, or more generators are all destroyed at the same time, then they have to first be built, transported to the sites, installed… all the while you are in the dark a very long time.
So, I ask you again. What would YOU and your family do without power for MONTHS?