When we think about the vulnerability of our aging electrical grid, it’s usually in connection with a severe weather event that could temporarily turn off the lights in parts of the U.S. Or we think about a natural or manmade EMP that could send us back to the dark ages for an extended period of time.
But another very possible scenario that could play out – on the clearest of days and with no massive solar flares or nuclear detonations – is a cyber attack on our grid by China or another country. These hackers would only need computers to carry out what would have to be considered an act of war.
Consider the words of the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, who is also commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. Rogers called this threat “so real” and said that enemies of the U.S. are performing “reconnaissance” on a regular basis so they can be in a position to attack the industrial control systems that run everything from our chemical facilities to our water treatment plants.
Nothing could disrupt life in the U.S. as much as the failing of our electrical grid. And that’s why the government ought to stop spending time and money on spying on innocent citizens and start spending it on keeping us safe from terrorists. How obvious does this situation have to get before our leaders wake up and start focusing on protecting us from the very real threats out there?
If the U.S. electrical grid were to go down, what do you think would be the most likely cause?