For most of humanity’s existence, entire countries were run by little more than glorified warlords. Although today we take the concept of individual rights for granted, the vast majority of people had never heard of such a thing until a few hundred years ago. As democracy began to shape the face of the Western world, […]
Jan. 11, 2017
The U.S. power grid is in constant danger of a cyberattack that could cause widespread blackouts and impact millions of citizens, according to a new 492-page report from the Department of Energy that warns if nothing is done to protect the system, the nation likely will suffer.
“The U.S. grid faces imminent danger from cyberattacks,” the report, released Jan. 6, states. “Widespread disruption of electric service because of a transmission failure initiated by a cyberattack at various points of entry could undermine U.S. lifeline networks, critical defense infrastructure, and much of the economy; it could also endanger the health and safety of millions of citizens.”
The report, titled “Transforming the Nation’s Energy System,” notes that the electric grid in the 48 contiguous states is comprised of 21,500 substations and about 700,000 miles of power lines.
It points to the 2015 cyberattack on the Ukrainian electric grid as an example of what is possible in the U.S. That attack — the “most sophisticated cyber incident on a power system to date” – took out electricity for 225,000 customers “after malicious actors remotely manipulated circuit breakers across multiple facilities.”
One problem America faces, the report says, is that while cyberattacks are rapidly evolving, power grid officials are slow to deploy defensive measures.
“This gap is exacerbated by difficulties in addressing vulnerabilities in operational technologies that cannot easily be taken offline for upgrades, and the presence of significant legacy systems, as well as components that lack computing resources to incorporate new security fixes,” the report says.
For a fix to be successful, the report notes, it “must be implemented by the thousands of private companies that own and operate electricity infrastructure.”
“While cyberattacks on the U.S. grid and affiliated systems have had limited consequences to date, attacks elsewhere in the world on energy systems should be seen as an indicator of what is possible,” the report says. “Threats can emerge from a range of highly capable actors with sufficient resources, including individuals, groups, or nation-states under the cloak of anonymity.”
“There’s the weak-link issue for the whole system,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview, according to The Washington Post. “The reality is, for a lot of rural, smaller utilities, it’s a very difficult job to have the kind of expertise that will be needed in terms of cyber, so we suggest for example, grant programs to help with training, to help with analytical capacity in these situations.”
The economy would “just take an enormous hit” from a successful cyberattack, Moniz added.
Do you believe the power grid is vulnerable to a cyberattack? Do you think President Trump can or will fix it? Share your thoughts in the section below:
WASHINGTON — The threat of what the White House calls a “significant cyber incident” against the power grid is so great that the Obama administration has unveiled a major new strategy, complete with a six-level schema that acknowledges the most severe attack could cause widespread blackouts, deaths, and even impact the stability of the federal government.
The Presidential Policy Directive on “United States Cyber Incident Coordination” was released July 26 and intended to “provide clarity and guidance about the Federal government’s roles and responsibilities” during a cyberattack.
“Cyber incidents are a fact of contemporary life, and significant cyber incidents are occurring with increasing frequency, impacting public and private infrastructure located in the United States and abroad,” the directive states.
Modern technology has made life easier and is essential, the directive states, but “the same infrastructure that enables these benefits is vulnerable to malicious activity, malfunction, human error, and acts of nature, placing the Nation and its people at risk.”
Much like the now-defunct Homeland Security Advisory System, the directive unveiled a color-coded system to help the public understand the significance of a specific cyberattack. Dubbed the “Cyber Incident Severity Schema,” it includes six levels:
Level 5 (Emergency or Black) – “Poses an imminent threat to the provision of wide-scale critical infrastructure services, national government stability, or to the lives of U.S. persons.” The critical infrastructure services includes the power grid.
Level 4 (Severe or Red) – “Likely to result in a significant impact to public health or safety, national security, economic security, foreign relations, or civil liberties.”
Level 2 (Medium or Yellow) – “May impact public health or safety, national security, economic security, foreign relations, civil liberties, or public confidence.”
Level 1 (Low or Green) – “Unlikely to impact public health or safety, national security, economic security, foreign relations, civil liberties, or public confidence.”
Level O (Baseline or White) – A nuisance attack that causes no damage.
In addition to creating a cyber incident schema, the directive also:
- Defines a significant cyber incident as: “A cyber incident that is … likely to result in demonstrable harm to the national security interests, foreign relations, or economy of the United States or to the public confidence, civil liberties, or public health and safety of the American people.
- Establishes the US Department of Justice, acting through the FBI and the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), as the federal lead agency for investigating cyberattacks.
- Creates a Unified Coordination Group (UCG) that will organize the response to a major cyberattack. The cyber UCG will coordinate response with local, state, regional, tribal and foreign governments.
The US will use sanctions against foreign governments that launch cyberattacks against America, Americans or American allies, White House counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco told the media. Monaco did not say what the sanctions would be, but named Russia and China as possible targets.
Obama himself mentioned the possibility of sanctions against China over cyberattacks in September 2015. The president later backed down after a discussion with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
“We are preparing a number of measures that will indicate to the Chinese that this is not just a matter of us being mildly upset; but is something that will put significant strains on the bilateral relationship if not resolved,” Mr. Obama said in a question-and-answer session with business leaders on economic issues. “We are prepared to take some countervailing actions in order to get their attention.”
The directive came during the same week when authorities confirmed that the Democratic National Committee’s computer system had been hacked. Many observers blamed Russia for that attack.
Do you believe a cyberattack is inevitable? Share your opinion in the section below:
The United States is completely unprepared for a cyberattack on the electric power grid that could lead to total economic collapse, according to a key Congressman who hosted an April hearing on the issue.
US Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, wrote in a Roll Call op-ed that such an attack would be devastating – and isn’t far-fetched.
He pointed to the December cyberattack on the Ukraine power grid that left 225,000 without electricity. It was considered the first successful attack, worldwide, on a grid.
“What happened is ominous because it reminded us that we should not believe ourselves immune to such an attack, even in the United States,” Barletta wrote. “A cyberattack on the power grid could leave millions of residents and key physical locations without power for an extended period of time. It is a discouraging fact that unlike every other hazard we are likely to face, from hurricanes to earthquakes and chemical attacks to space weather, there is no specific planning scenario to help state and local governments prepare for an extensive blackout.”
Barletta noted that FEMA Administrator Craig Fugaten was asked how long the electricity would be out following a successful cyberattack and responded, “Planning needs to be measured in weeks.” Witnesses from the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security agreed.
The officials testified that the federal government has done little planning to cope with a cyberattack on the grid, although they tried to assure him that progress is being made.
The Ukraine attack, Barletta wrote, seemed like “something from a Hollywood movie, but it was real.” The federal government, he added, must do a better job to prepare local communities.
“We must be ready to deal with disruptions in telecommunications, water and waste treatment, healthcare delivery, financial services and transportation,” he wrote.
The impact from such an attack on America’s power grid is significant, Barletta warned.
“If the goal of terrorists is to collapse our economy, then shutting down our electrical grid is where they would start,” Barlett a wrote. “Most troubling is the possibility that a cyberattack would be accompanied by a physical terrorist attack, a scenario that promises true havoc, panic and loss of life. The great challenge is that the threat continues to evolve, which only means that we are forced to evolve with it and be prepared for it.”
Do you believe such an attack is inevitable? Would your community be prepared? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks the resources and personnel needed to protect America’s critical infrastructure from a cyberattack, the agency’s head has acknowledged.
The department even lacks the funds to hire the top cybersecurity experts.
“We are competing in a tough marketplace against a private sector that is in a position to offer a lot more money,” Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary, told US senators at a hearing last month. “We need more cyber talent without a doubt in DHS, in the federal government, and we are not where we should be right now, that is without a doubt.”
The department cannot match the huge paychecks and flexibility that private sector firms like Alphabet (owner of Google) and Facebook can offer computer experts, The New York Times reported.
The department’s technology could also be outdated and inferior to that in the private sector, a cybersecurity expert told The Times.
Many experts avoid working for the government because it simply lacks the latest technology, said Candy Alexander of the Information Systems Security Association, a group of cybersecurity professionals.
“For a lot of people who do this work, it is about who gets the coolest toys first,” Alexander said. “And DHS doesn’t come across as a place where that is going to happen.”
600,000 Cybersecurity Incidents and Growing
Beefing up cybersecurity is critical because 600,000 cybersecurity incidents were reported to DHS in 2014 involving government and private computer systems, The Times reported.
Many of the attacks show a level of sophistication that indicates foreign governments could be behind them, the newspaper said. Officials are becoming worried because a cyberattack on the Ukraine’s power grid last December caused a blackout that left 225,000 people without electricity.
Another cyberattack involving so-called ransomware locked staff at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles out of their computers in February. The only way doctors and nurses could get access to critical data was to pay the bad guys $17,000 worth of Bitcoins.
Despite the growing threat, DHS does not have even enough cybersecurity experts to fill all the positions it has open. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 gave DHS the money for 1,000 experts, but the department has only been able to recruit 691, The Times reported.
“The deck is stacked against us a little bit,” Phyllis Schneck, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security, admitted. “So what we are pitching to people is to explore a hybrid: Do a private sector career and then come and do some time in government. It can be a positive experience in both areas.”
Schneck is a former chief technology officer for antivirus company McAfee (now Intel Security). Another problem DHS faces is that people who are attracted to government work prefer to work at more glamourous agencies such as the NSA or CIA.
“Countering our adversaries and keeping them from disrupting our critical infrastructure can be just as exciting,” cybersecurity expert Robert Lee told The Times. “But the DHS is seen as a large bureaucracy, and nothing about it screams change and innovation.”
Do you believe America is vulnerable to a cyberattack? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The possibility of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure such as America’s electric power worries National Security Agency (NSA) Director Admiral Michael Rogers, who told a cyber security conference that it’s a “matter of when, not if” hackers successfully attack America’s power grid.
The US eventually will suffer a cyber assault like the one that knocked out power in the Ukraine, Rogers told an audience at the RSA Conference in San Francisco in early March. During that attack hackers used the Black Energy cyber weapon to literally turn the lights out on more than 200,000 people across the region.
“Seven weeks ago it was the Ukraine,” Rogers said. “That isn’t the last we are going to see of this. That worries me.”
An attack on the power grid is not the only cybercrime that keeps Rogers from sleeping. He is also afraid of attacks that could cripple the nation’s financial institutions.
“What are going to do as a society when you go to your bank account, and the numbers don’t match what you think they should be?” Rogers asked, according to FedScoop.com. “What do you do if your business does financial transactions, and they don’t reflect what you are seeing?”
The threat, Rogers added, is significant enough that private industry and the government – two sides that normally don’t cooperate – should work together to address vulnerabilities.
“I believe in the power of industry and what we have seen in the valley over the last decade,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time talking to each other about what we can’t do. In many ways, we’re just talking past each other.”
Such an agreement is “fundamental to the very construct of our nation,” he added.
“These issues are so fundamental and so important to us as a nation, that I believe our citizens need leaders to say, ‘This is acceptable to us and this is not,’” Rogers said, according to FedScoop.com. “There is no solution without risk, I acknowledge that. It’s about how we try to minimize that risk and be upfront with each other.”
Famed TV newsman Ted Koppel argues in his new book “Lights Out” that a cyberattack would leave the power grid down not for days but for weeks and months, resulting in millions of people dying due to mass starvation.
How do you think most Americans would react to a downed power grid? Share your thoughts in the section below:
US Department of Energy researchers have known for nearly a decade that a cyberattack could take down the power grid and have been working to prevent it.
Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) – a Department of Energy lab — actually demonstrated that a successful cyberattack on a power plant was possible during testing in September 2007.
INL Associate Lab Director Brent Stacey recently told a local TV station that while a mock cyberattack cannot be conducted on a city’s power plant, it can be done at the Idaho lab.
“With 111 miles of transmission and distribution grid that we own here at Idaho National Laboratory, we have the ability to run those tests and provide the facts for the community to take action,” Stacey said.
The Idaho lab’s 2007 test proved that a cyberattack can cause actual physical damage to the grid, he told Local News 8. They conducted the test on a generator.
“We put it on our grid,” Stacey said. “We took a cyber hacker 11 miles away and they hacked into the system, and actually caused the grid to commit suicide. If you go on YouTube and look for the Aurora test you’ll actually see that event.”
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In December 2015, a cyberattack caused major power outages in the Ukraine in what was believed to be the first time that a cyberattack took down a grid for a significant period of time, Off The Grid News reported.
Stacey acknowledged that a cyberattack could take down power grids in America.
“A loss of power in a region in catastrophic,” Stacey said. “It’s important because all the other life sectors depend on electricity — fresh water, food supply and other things. It would take a very sophisticated attack to cause that kind of damage and the probabilities are low, but they’re not impossible.”
Shortly after the Aurora test, CNN reported that the Department of Homeland Security was concerned enough to brief the White House and start working on prevention efforts with the White House.
“For about $5 million and between three to five years of preparation, an organization, whether it be transnational terrorist groups or nation states, could mount a strategic attack against the United States,” O. Sami Saydjari of the nonprofit Professionals for Cyber Defense told CNN in 2007.
A cyberattack on America’s power grid would be far more devastating than a major natural disaster, experts told CNN.
“It’s equivalent to 40 to 50 large hurricanes striking all at once,” economist Scott Borg said. “It’s greater economic damage than any modern economy ever suffered. … It’s greater than the Great Depression. It’s greater than the damage we did with strategic bombing on Germany in World War II.”
Borg estimated that such an attack would knock out power to one-third of the United States for three months and cost the country $700 billion. He made the estimate shortly after the Aurora test.
Do you believe America is prepared for a cyberattack? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The computers that control Israel’s power grid were shut down this week by a cyberattack in what Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called a “severe” attack.
“We had to paralyze many of the computers of the Israeli Electricity Authority,” Steinitz acknowledged Tuesday in a speech at the Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv. “We are handling the situation and I hope that soon, this very serious event will be over … but as of now, computer systems are still not working as they should.”
Authorities did not say who was behind the attack, nor did they name the cyber weapon used in the assault, The Times of Israel reported. It came during a week when temperatures at night were near-freezing.
The attack is significant because Israel is among the world’s leaders in cyber security.
This is the second major cyberattack on an electricity grid in recent week. On December 23, malware known as Black Energy succeeded in shutting off electricity to half the homes in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region. Some grid experts blamed that attack on hackers in Russia.
Israel has been hit by a number of major cyberattacks over the past two years, The Times of Israel reported. In April hackers claiming to be with Anonymous warned that they would launch an “Electronic Holocaust,” and they ended up taking down Israeli websites and gaining access to emails.
In July, Israel’s National Cyber Authority warned that a major cyberattack was imminent.
Israeli authorities have suspected hackers associated with the terrorist group Hezbollah and its allies in Israel were behind the earlier cyberattacks.
There were conflicting reports on whether the attack sparked blackouts.
The attack did cause Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to issue a frightening warning.
“The greatest curse that we face is that in the Internet of Everything, everything can be penetrated,” Netanyahu said. “Everything can be sabotaged. Everything can be subverted. And when I say everything, I mean everything.”
Do you believe America is prepared for a cyberattack? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Late last year a cyberattack took down a large segment of the Ukrainian power grid, marking the first time that hackers anywhere in the world accomplished such a feat. Days later, in early January, North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, an action that could put it one step closer to launching an EMP.
Is a cyberattack or EMP attack on the American power grid next? That’s the subject of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to grid expert Peter Pry, the author of the new book Blackout Wars and the executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
Pry, who also served on the EMP Commission and the House Armed Services Committee, says a cyberattack or EMP attack could take down the grid for weeks or months. He also tells us:
- Why he believes North Korea may be telling the truth – and why American intelligence may be wrong.
- How a hydrogen bomb would make an EMP even more dangerous – and how North Korea already has the capability to deliver it.
- Why the attack on the Ukrainian grid should worry Americans, and how hackers half the world away could take down the U.S. grid, with no notice.
- What we can do to prepare for an attack on the grid.
If the grid were down for one year, Pry says, upwards of 90 percent of the population would die from starvation, lack of medical supplies and unrest.
Pry also shares his thoughts on the White House’s Space Weather Action Plan, and he tells us how we can pressure Congress to protect the grid. If you’re concerned about America’s future and the power grid, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!
A widely feared nightmare scenario has finally occurred, although in another country — hackers were able to cause a widespread power failure in the Ukraine by infecting utilities’ computers with malware.
Half of the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of the Ukraine lost electricity Dec. 23 because of a malicious software program called Black Energy.
It is the first time a cyberattack has caused a widespread blackout.
“It’s a milestone because we’ve definitely seen targeted destructive events against energy before — oil firms, for instance — but never the event which causes the blackout,” John Hultquist of the cybersecurity firm iSIGHT told Ars Technica. “It’s the major scenario we’ve all been concerned about for so long.”
Ukrainians lost power after computers at three different utilities were infected with Black Energy. The program caused the blackout by somehow disconnecting a number of substations from the grid.
“This is the first time we have proof and can tie malware to a particular outage,” Trend Micro senior researcher Kyle Wilhoit told Reuters. “It is pretty scary.”
Experts at iSIGHT and antivirus company ESET identified an updated version of Black Energy, a malware that’s been around since 2007, as the cause of the blackout. The researchers said Black Energy apparently contains an updated component called KillDisk that can shut down industrial control systems.
KillDisk is a Trojan that embeds itself inside computer controlled equipment. Once there, it can either serve as a gateway to let hackers take control of the system or insert malicious code which sabotages the equipment. Some versions of KillDisk have the ability to destroy hard drives and other computer components.
Black Energy has been targeting various targets in the Ukraine, including media outlets, for about a year, Ars Technica reported. Black Energy is a particularly terrifying weapon because it enters systems through infected Microsoft Office documents.
The Sandworm Gang
Cybersecurity experts think a mysterious group of hackers that iSIGHT has dubbed the Sandworm Gang is behind Black Energy. Nobody knows where the Sandworm Gang is located, but iSIGHT suspects that they are Russians or have ties to the Russian government.
This is not the first time that hackers have infected a utility. In 2012, someone infected Saudi Arabia’s largest natural gas producer with malware.
Experts including Ted Koppel think it is only a matter of time before something like Black Energy targets America’s power grid. Koppel says such a cyberattack could knock out the US and Canadian power grids for weeks or months and lead to mass starvation in North America.
What is your reaction to the cyberattack, and do you think such an attack in the US is inevitable? Share your opinion in the section below:
Iranian hackers have successfully penetrated America’s power grid and accessed passwords and engineering drawings of power plants, and security experts say it’s only a matter of time before such an attack leads to widespread blackouts, the Associated Press reported.
In fact, hackers from Iran and other countries have infiltrated America’s power grid at least a dozen times over the past decade, gaining enough “remote access to control the operations networks” that run the power grid, experts told AP.
“If the geopolitical situation changes and Iran wants to target these facilities, if they have this kind of information it will make it a lot easier,” former Air Force cyberwarfare officer Robert M. Lee told AP.
The AP investigation found that the danger of cyberattack on the grid is far greater than the US government wants us to believe.
Some of the other frightening details of the AP report include:
- Some of the attacks over the past decade were so sophisticated that attackers could have gained control over portions of the grid or power plants, if they wanted to do so.
- ISIS is trying to hack into America’s power grid.
- Hackers took “detailed engineering drawings” of 71 “networks and power stations” from New York to California. That information shows “the precise location of devices that communicate with gas turbines, boilers and other crucial equipment attackers would need to hack specific plants.”
- Some of the hackers stored their stolen data on unencryptedcomputers, meaning the data was easily accessible by others, too.
Security researcher Brian Wallace discovered that Iranian hackers had stolen passwords and detailed information from Calpine Corp., which operates 82 power plants in 18 states and in Canada.
“We’re still in this era where everybody believes [the power grid is] secure and it’s not,” Eireann Leverett of the Cambridge Center for Risk Studies told AP.
Fixing the damage done by a large cyberattack could take far too long. Many of the parts that would be damaged by an attack are custom-made, meaning there literally are no spare parts.
“In the case of a large cyberattack on the US we can’t be calling up vendors and having them say, ‘Sorry, it’s going to take us eight months to get this patched,’” Leverett pointed out.
We’ve been warned.
Are you concerned about a cyberattack on the power grid? Share your thoughts in the section below:
By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
Ted Koppel, the anchor of ‘Nightline’ from its inception in 1980 until his retirement in 2005, is now buying freeze-dried food for his family as a result of recent ominous conclusions spelled out in his book, “Lights Out”, revealing the great dangers that we are facing from a debilitating and potentially very deadly ‘grid-down’ cyberattack. And it’s not science fiction…
The fact that we are utterly dependent upon the power grid for our survival as a nation and a people, exposes one of our greatest vulnerabilities – the constant flow of electricity. Ted Koppel exposes just how vulnerable we really are to a massive cyberattack – bringing it all down…
Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Lights Out For A Nation Unprepared As Cyberattack Downs Power Grid
Filed under: Prepping
Ted Koppel Is Buying Freeze-Dried Food For The Day When A Cyberattack Takes Out The Power Grid
Most Americans have absolutely no idea how incredibly vulnerable our electrical grid is, but Ted Koppel does. For many years, Koppel was the level-headed host of Nightline on ABC, but now he is issuing a very chilling warning to America. For more than a year, he investigated potential threats to our power grid, and he has detailed what he discovered in a new book entitled “Lights Out“. He is convinced that a massive cyberattack could take down our entire electrical grid for an extended period of time, and he was horrified to learn that the Department of Homeland Security really doesn’t have a plan for how to deal with this kind of a scenario.
What Koppel found out during the course of his investigation freaked him out so much that he actually decided to buy freeze-dried food for himself, his children, and even his grandchildren. The following comes from CBS News…
In “Lights Out,” Koppel paints a grim picture of a paralyzing power outage in the form of an all-out cyberattack on the nation’s electrical grid.
“It’s frightening,” Koppel said. “I mean, it is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids.”
Koppel believes that Russia, China and Iran already have the ability to conduct such attacks. And actually, the truth is that many other nations such as North Korea have been rapidly developing the capability to conduct such operations as well.
It is only a matter of time until we see absolutely massive cyberattacks unleashed against national power grids, and the United States is the most likely target. Unfortunately for us, our government has done very little to prepare for this eventuality. Here is more from CBS News…
Koppel says the one agency that would be ready to counter a cyberattack such as this is the Department of Homeland Security. But are they ready?
“No,” he said. “I’ve talked to every former Secretary of Homeland Security, and they all acknowledge there is no plan.”
And the current Secretary, Jeh Johnson, didn’t offer much guidance to Koppel, either: “I kept asking ‘What’s the plan?’ Why wait until disaster strikes? Why not tell ’em? Do you have a plan?’ And he just sort of pointed up at a shelf filled with white binders and he said, ‘Look, I’m sure there’s something up there somewhere.’”
But we have been warned. In fact, just recently there was a major congressional hearing about this. At that hearing, one member of Congress explained that there is a significant attack on our power grid once every four days…
Such attacks hit the nation’s electric grid once every four days, according to estimates, Rep. Randy Weber, a Texas Republican, said at the House Subcommittee on Research and Technology hearing. The session was focused on better protecting the nation’s power grid and identifying its vulnerability to cyberattacks.
“In over 300 cases of significant cyber and physical attacks since 2011, suspects have never been identified,” Weber said.
And of course it isn’t just a cyberattack that we need to be concerned about. As I wrote about just over a month ago, a giant electromagnetic pulse either from the sun or from a weapon could fry our grid at any time as well.
Perhaps this is not something that you are making preparations for personally, but the White House sure is. According to the Houston Chronicle, the White House just released a plan that details how it would respond to an EMP event…
The White House Thursday released a contingency plan for about the most terrifying scenario possible: a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that wipes out the power grid.
Just imagine no more cell phones, Internet, credit cards, gas pumps, running water, electric lights or industry in a single fateful moment.
It could come from a solar flare that sends ultra-high-energy particles cascading toward the earth, frying every electrical transformer they encounter. So the White House, in conjunction with 24 other federal agencies, published a “National Space Weather Strategy” and accompany action plan, outlining a response if such a disaster were to occur.
I don’t know if any of us can really imagine how crazy things would get if the lights went out and never came back on. We have all become so incredibly dependent on computers, cell phones, televisions, ATMs, heating and cooling systems, credit card readers, gas pumps, cash registers, refrigerators, hospital equipment etc. What would life be like if suddenly we couldn’t use any of those things anymore?
At some point there will be a massive power grid failure. It is just a matter of time. And as space weather consultant John Kappenman recently told Gizmodo, when it happens power might not be restored for months or even years…
“If you take electricity away, either immediately or within a short period of time, you’ll suffer the failure of all critical infrastructure,” Kappenman said. This includes things like water, sewage treatment, gas stations, banks and hospitals. “One of the concerns that we have is that in the worst case scenarios, we could be looking at weeks, months, maybe even years before restoration of the grid.”
That’s why preppers are taking a longer view. “I have a five year supply of food for employees and family,” a source who requested anonymity told Gizmodo. This individual says he’s rigged up a 12.5 kW solar array in the “remote wilderness,” complete with “power outlets and water spigots about every 50 feet” to support a small fleet of RV trailers for the long haul. Other preppers agree that a multi-year food and water supply is crucial. Some are also stockpiling large quantities of medications (“five year supplies of meds can be obtained from Asia without prescriptions,” one source told Gizmodo).
So how can we get prepared? The YouTube video that I have posted below was produced by Infowars, and it contains advice from renowned survivalist experts including James Wesley Rawles. I think that you will find it to be very helpful…
Source : theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Other Useful Resources :
The post Ted Koppel Is Buying Freeze-Dried Food For The Day When A Cyberattack Takes Out The Power Grid appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.
The American electrical power grid is highly vulnerable to a devastating cyberattack and the United States government has no plan for dealing with such a catastrophe, famed TV newsman Ted Koppel says.
Koppel thinks the danger of such an attack is so great that he has written a book about it called Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.
Koppel is best known for serving as anchor of the ABC program Nightline from 1980 to 2005.
“What we have never had is a cyberattack that amounts to a weapon of mass destruction,” Koppel told PBS’s News Hour. “And my point is that, if someone succeeds in taking down one of our power grids — and the Russians and the Chinese can do it and maybe the Iranians and the North Koreans — it would be devastating.”
Experts interviewed by Koppel believe it is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” The grid would not be down days but weeks or months, Koppel says.
Koppel started researching cyberattacks and the power grid in 2013 after President Obama mentioned such a scenario in a State of the Union Address. After intensive research that involved discussions with four former Secretaries of Homeland Security and four former Secretaries of Defense, Koppel concluded that such an attack is likely and the US government is completely unprepared for such a cataclysm.
Some of Koppel’s disturbing revelations include:
Many of our nation’s leaders believe that such an attack is inevitable.
“When I spoke to Janet Napolitano just after she left as secretary of Homeland Security — and she had been on the job for five years — I said to her, what do you think the chances are of a cyber-attack on the power grid? She said very, very high, 80 to 90 percent,” Koppel told PBS.
Koppel said that the current secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, admitted to him that there is no federal strategy for dealing with a cyberattack on the grid.
Such an attack could lead to mass starvation.
Koppel says that all Americans should follow the lead of the Mormons and prepare for the worst.
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“And so the one thing that the Mormons do that I would recommend to Americans in general to do is to have a three to six months’ supply of food and water,” Koppel told Ifill.
A cyberattack that can take down the grid can be carried out by almost anybody, including terrorists, criminals or even an individual madman.
“And the dangerous thing … is, it doesn’t require a government to do it,” Koppel said. “It doesn’t require anyone with a ton of money to do it. Someone sufficiently skilled in cyber-warfare, using an individual laptop, can inflict enormous damage.”
He added: “I have been told by the man who was the former chief scientist for the NSA, the National Security Agency, that he now believes that there are individual groups, and possibly a group like ISIS, for example, which has about $2 billion, that they could buy the expertise and that the equipment they need is available off the shelf,” Koppel revealed. “That’s a pretty scary prospect.”
Many of the nation’s power companies are completely unprepared for an attack on the grid.
There is little or nothing the federal government can do to make them prepare because of deregulation, Koppel told Salon.
He also thinks Congress is unwilling to change the law to address the situation.
“The smaller companies simply don’t have the resources to engage in that kind of defensive behavior,” Koppel said. “Where the problem arises is, a really skilled hacker could hack into one of the smaller ones, or several of the smaller ones.”
Some foreign governments already have hacked into the US power grid.
“It’s incredibly complex, but there is no question that the Chinese have successfully hacked into at least one of our power grids,” Koppel said. “The Russians have done so also. The Iranians, the North Koreans and possibly individual [hackers] are on the verge of being able to do so, if they haven’t done it already.”
Koppel thinks the biggest danger comes from North Korea. The Russians, Iranians and Chinese would be afraid to hack the US grid because America could retaliate by taking down their grids and shutting down their economies. Since the North Koreans do not have a modern economy or technology, it would be hard to retaliate against them.
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