The power grid may be more vulnerable now that it has ever been.
The U.S. power grid and its continued vulnerability is an existential threat that Americans need to deal with soon. Many industry “players” are dragging their feet, despite efforts by President Trump and Energy Secretary Perry to address the issue.
“Frankly, the United States is under attack,” Dan Coats said. “Under attack by entities that are using cyber technology to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States.”
Coats’ warning is vital because he is America’s Director of National Intelligence. It’s important to understand that Coats has access to the latest threat assessments from entities like the CIA and the National Security Agency.
“While Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest cyber threats, other nation-states, terrorist organizations, trans-national criminal organizations and other more capable groups and individuals use cyber operations to achieve strategic and objectives,” Coats told Congress.
Cyber-Attackers Have Penetrated The Power Grid
“Right now we are tracking about eight different teams that specifically target industrial networks,” Robert Lee said. The industrial networks penetrated presumably include the electric power grid.
Disturbingly, cyber-attackers might have also penetrated food processing plants, water supplies, and other vital infrastructure. Lee heads a team of cybersecurity experts at Dragos Inc. that has reportedly detected several such threats.
Readers interested in self-reliance need to pay close attention to Lee because he spent five years at the Pentagon’s Cyber Command and the NSA before forming Dragos. Tellingly, the purpose of Dragos is to detect foreign hacking groups that have already penetrated the power grid.
Crash Override Can Actually “Automate” Cascading Blackouts
“We’ve seen these are not theoretical attacks,” Lee told CBN News. “My team was involved in the two different Ukraine attacks. Ukraine 2015 and 2016, a national level adversary compromised a portion of their power grid and were able to turn off the lights in those regions.”
Lee’s team reportedly detected the Crash Override or Industroyer malware that disrupted Ukraine’s power grid in December 2017. Wired described Crash Override as “the most evolved specimen of grid-sabotaging malware ever observed in the wild.”
Ukrainian authorities apparently hired Dragos to investigate a suspicious blackout in 2017. Consequently, Dragos and another firm discovered Crash Override.
For this reason, cybersecurity experts believe Crash Override was designed to “automate mass power outages.” Frighteningly, Dragos’s experts think the Crash Override attack was a dry run for a more catastrophic grid attack. To put it another way, somebody tested a cyber weapon that showed the potential to knock out the grid in Ukraine last year.
“Now we are starting to see really aggressive behavior,” Lee said of the hackers that Dragos are monitoring. In other words, the risk of a cyber-attack appears to be increasing.
Primary Way For Enemies To Attack
“This isn’t a sideshow,” Dr. Peter Pry warned. “This is the way the primary way our enemies would come after us in a future war, cyber, physical sabotage and nuclear EMP attack.”
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a wave of radiation usually generated by a nuclear bomb or solar activity. Tellingly, experts like Pry believe one EMP weapon can knock out the entire U.S. power grid. In order to knock out the grid, an EMP would have to fry the large electronic systems that control the electrical supply.
In the next war, America’s enemies will primarily target the power grid and industrial infrastructure, Pry predicted. (Pry was the chief of a Congressional Commission EMP).
Pry believes America’s leaders have ignored the EMP threat and have created our vulnerability. Notably, most utilities have failed to shield control systems from EMP radiation.
“The electric power industry doesn’t want to do it,” Pry said of EMP defense. “They have vast lobbying resources on K Street. They own basically the U.S. Federal Regulatory Commission, which recently defied Secretary of Energy Perry and his effort to come up with a more secure power grid. They actually defied the Secretary of Energy.”
Under these circumstances, every American household and business should prepare to produce “emergency electricity” if the need arises. For this reason, a source of off-grid electricity might be the key to your family’s survival.
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