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The Government Admits The US Power Grid Can Be Taken Out At Any Time
TBI ^ | 8-2-2012 | Walter Hickey

Posted on 08/01/2012 10:23:27 PM PDT by blam

The Government Admits The US Power Grid Can Be Taken Out At Any Time

Walter Hickey
Aug. 1, 2012, 7:00 PM

The Government Accountability Office just released a report backing up earlier findings: because a series of recommendations were ignored, the U.S. electric grid remains highly susceptible to cyberattacks.

The grid is reliant on a number of IT systems that have known and likely unknown vulnerabilities. The result of a cyberattack on the grid could result in damage to electricity control systems, power outages, and failures in safety equipment on a scale currently unknown.

GAO believes that there are still massive problems in the way the grid secures itself. Here are some of the reasons why they said the grid was open to attack:

* A lack of a coordinated approach to monitor industry compliance with voluntary standards.
* Aspects of the current regulatory environment made it difficult to ensure the cybersecurity of smart grid systems.
* A focus by utilities on regulatory compliance instead of comprehensive security. * A lack of security features consistently built into smart grid systems.

The verdict? A terrible regulatory environment that makes the industry focus on things that don't make the grid more secure. Electric companies who couldn't care less about spending more on security. A lack of focus on preventing an attack against the electric lifeblood of the United States.

The worst is, GAO told the Government what they had to do last year, and it was ignored.

The Department of Commerce's report on smart grid security was "missing key elements" and has not been fixed.

The Department of Energy was tasked with "periodically evaluate[ing] the extent to which utilities [...] are following voluntary interoperability and cybersecurity standards" and this report says they haven't.

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blackout; cyberattack; electricity; powerouttage
That's funny....The Government Accountability Office
1 posted on 08/01/2012 10:23:41 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Government Accountability

Talk about an oxymoron.


2 posted on 08/01/2012 10:25:07 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

Preppers’ PING!!


3 posted on 08/01/2012 10:28:07 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: blam
The only good news is that there are multiple operators with multiple control systems. It isn't a monolithic control system that can be compromised in a single stroke. Diversity is good when it comes to making it hard to seize control
4 posted on 08/01/2012 10:29:08 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: blam
I love it when people snark to me how long it will take to pay for itself.


5 posted on 08/01/2012 10:35:14 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: _Jim

Ping


6 posted on 08/01/2012 10:46:34 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1289 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: Myrddin

For now.


7 posted on 08/01/2012 10:53:37 PM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: blam

I might take this report more seriously, if the US government itself wasn’t forcing good coal-fired plants to shut down. This will more likely cause major disruptions in the future.


8 posted on 08/01/2012 11:23:41 PM PDT by packrat35 (Admit it! We are almost ready to be called a police state!)
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To: blam

You watch: This will be the false flag operation the regime uses to impose martial law in October and confiscate our guns.


9 posted on 08/01/2012 11:25:39 PM PDT by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: blam
I live on this peninsula where last year the Leftists attacked the power-line and killed the power because they hate people with money. Security had to be stationed to watch the main power-line.

Last week it rained really hard and turned off the power for a few hours. My neighbor was none-too-happy about that!

video

10 posted on 08/02/2012 12:32:50 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Siri: USA - ALL THE WAY!)
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To: blam

This is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to our vulnerability.


11 posted on 08/02/2012 1:20:26 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: blam

Neener neener, Texas is on its own grid.


12 posted on 08/02/2012 1:33:16 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Eric Holder's NAACP rally against the voter ID laws required the press to bring govt issue photo ID.)
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To: Myrddin

“It isn’t a monolithic control system that can be compromised in a single stroke.”

I agree. Keep crying wolf is good job security for someone.


13 posted on 08/02/2012 3:17:22 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: I see my hands

what is your picture, I’ve never seen it before?
Thanks


14 posted on 08/02/2012 3:24:47 AM PDT by conservativesister
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To: a fool in paradise
Neener neener, Texas is on its own grid.

LOL! That was my first thought too. Maybe we should invest in an extension cord factory (that makes REALLY long cords) to we can make sure all the non-Texas FReepers won't suffer from withdrawals if it all goes 'poof!'

:-)

15 posted on 08/02/2012 3:50:05 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: MamaTexan

We are not being protected.


16 posted on 08/02/2012 4:41:21 AM PDT by mountaineer1997
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To: mountaineer1997
We are not being protected.

Of course we aren't.

The feds regulating crap to the Nth degree (thus preventing anyone from doing anything constructive) then using the situation it, itself created as an excuse to scream 'crisis' is how they gain power.

17 posted on 08/02/2012 5:30:23 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as Created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: blam
Electric companies who couldn't care less about spending more on security.

A few years ago, long after 9/11, our eclectric company decided to take down the fences around substations... you know, chain link fences that you can see through and notice if someone was in there... and build tall brick walls around them so someone messing around the equipment could do so without anyone being the wiser.

18 posted on 08/02/2012 5:38:05 AM PDT by bgill
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To: blam

Government admits what every intelligent person already knew.


19 posted on 08/02/2012 6:06:30 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: a fool in paradise
Texas is on its own grid.

Yep

20 posted on 08/02/2012 6:25:09 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: The Duke
"This is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to our vulnerability. "

Indeed.

21 posted on 08/02/2012 6:44:14 AM PDT by blam
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To: conservativesister
My house.

22 posted on 08/02/2012 8:00:08 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: MamaTexan

That’s what I thought, too. When you think about it, Texas is sort of its own country. When we joined the union, we kept the right to secede.

People are moving to Texas for numerous reasons - our economy is good, there are jobs here, we have a surplus in the state treasury. Our constitution requires a balanced budget so we can’t go into debt. Our constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman and we don’t recognize homo marriage. You can buy as many guns as you want and our law says you can use deadly force if you think your life is threatened. We also have concealed carry.

Liberals shouldn’t move here as their life won’t be happy. Homos shouldn’t move here, either, as they can’t marry here.

So, Texas doesn’t fit the mold of most states and that is becoming more and more important for our survival.


23 posted on 08/02/2012 8:03:34 AM PDT by Marcella (The power to tax is the power to destroy.)
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To: Marcella

“When we joined the union, we kept the right to secede.”

Lot of good it did you in 1860-1865......


24 posted on 08/02/2012 8:40:50 AM PDT by Forty-Niner (The barely bare, berry bear formerly known as..........Ursus Arctos Horribilis.)
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To: I see my hands

Does that single panel provide for all of your power needs? What do you do for water and where is the pool? ;>)

I think I would want a few trees.


25 posted on 08/02/2012 8:48:34 AM PDT by Gator113 (***YOU GAVE it to Obama. I would have voted for NEWT.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Gator113
Where do you get your data regarding the number of panels and that there is a pool?

Heats, cools. cooks, entertains, runs the well, and illuminates.

If you want trees get trees.


26 posted on 08/02/2012 9:00:22 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: I see my hands

The pool comment was a joke that I apparently wasted on you.

Personally, I like trees and that is all that I meant by that.

As for the panel count, well, all I had to go by is your damn pic, but I am no longer interested.


27 posted on 08/02/2012 9:16:18 AM PDT by Gator113 (***YOU GAVE it to Obama. I would have voted for NEWT.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Gator113
Don't you have anything better to do than pick fights with a nobody on line?

Take that energy and go hassle a lib.

PS: The property has by a conservative estimate ten thousand trees. Mesquite and Palo Verde mostly. If you count ocotillos (which many tell me are trees) then add several thousand more.


28 posted on 08/02/2012 9:42:57 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: I see my hands

Ocotillos aren’t trees - they’re field-expedient barbed wire.


29 posted on 08/02/2012 11:06:39 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring
Once on a hike I had to pass through a dense and extensive jumping (teddy bear) cholla patch. That was scary.

30 posted on 08/02/2012 11:12:40 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: I see my hands

I once saw someone land a hot-air balloon in a large patch of that on a very windy day.

Didn’t end well.


31 posted on 08/02/2012 11:17:44 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: I see my hands

I didn’t pick a fight with you. I had absolutely no such intention.

I had actually tried to be sociable and I was interested in details about your power source. I have a solar panel on my Airstream trailer and it works quite nice. I have been considering them for my house, which is much larger than yours.

Anyway, you have made all of that a mute point as I no longer care about your gravel pit.


32 posted on 08/02/2012 11:23:22 AM PDT by Gator113 (***YOU GAVE it to Obama. I would have voted for NEWT.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: Gator113
On the mainland I've also got this one. Is yours still bigger than mine? LOL!

33 posted on 08/02/2012 11:39:39 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: I see my hands

Yes, but mine doesn’t look like a mini-prison. LOL @ you.


34 posted on 08/02/2012 11:50:57 AM PDT by Gator113 (***YOU GAVE it to Obama. I would have voted for NEWT.~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: blam

This problem was clearly identified after 9-11. With even a mildly competent homeland security department this problem would no longer represent a significant current threat.

If NOTHING was done to reduce the risk between then and now I’d be surprised. However, I can easily see how NOT ENOUGH has been done.

(Sadly, it even seems possible that NOTHING was done. Either way, if we have a significant current problem then part of the blame lies with Bush as well as with Obama.)


35 posted on 08/02/2012 3:47:34 PM PDT by EternalHope (Politicians will always let you down. -- Sarah Palin)
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To: Myrddin

If a tree falls in Ohio..


36 posted on 08/02/2012 9:49:01 PM PDT by patton (more than 250 times less revenue, at a high rate of speed - Obama)
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To: patton

Ohio or Oregon. Both places have whacked the grid.


37 posted on 08/02/2012 10:33:38 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: null and void

“The Government Admits The US Power Grid Can Be Taken Out At Any Time”

Repeat after me:

The US has three separate, independent power ‘grids’ ...
The US has three separate, independent power ‘grids’ ...
The US has three separate, independent power ‘grids’ ...
...


38 posted on 08/06/2012 7:49:00 AM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favorite tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: _Jim

Which ones are immune to attack?


39 posted on 08/06/2012 7:56:43 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1294 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: null and void
Which ones are immune to attack?
When all it takes to STOP an attack is the simple removal of an RJ-45 connector from a router in a rack? (This begs the question: How is the beginning of an attack recognized? This also overlooks how rules are implemented in routers providing service from access points to 'the cloud' serve to limit what IP addys are allowed access to private physical networks.)

You ppl make any sort of defense or active countermeasures sound impossible ... (notwithstanding the use of VPNs, private physical networks et al)

Don't you ppl subscribe to anything like Network World or pay attention to what vendors offer in the way of routers and traffic screening/filtering? Don't make the mistake of projecting your network practices onto others in the real world ...

40 posted on 08/06/2012 9:42:44 AM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favorite tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: _Jim

Yep.

If the first act is to spoof the system into reporting everything is normal no one will have the information warning them now would be a good time to unplug the routers.

Compare to the mid-Atlantic Air France crash.

The crew believed their readouts and stalled the Airbus every inch of 30,000 ft to the water.

That was an accident caused by iced-over pitot tubes, would the outcome have been different if the pitot tubes were clear, but a deliberate act of malware fed false data to the crew?

Are you saying that no one anywhere on earth is clever enough to figure out a way to deliberately feed false data to a control center?

Are you saying that even if they could spoof, say, the Texas grid, they couldn’t possibly spoof the other two?

That’s going to be a hard sell.


41 posted on 08/06/2012 10:03:14 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1294 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: null and void
... Compare to the mid-Atlantic Air France crash.

The crew believed their readouts and stalled the Airbus every inch of 30,000 ft to the water.

Different situation; inexperienced, low-hour PIC (pilot in command) in a cockpit (Airbus model that does NOT use coupled sticks like Boeing aircraft to allow one pilot to feel the sidestick/control inputs that the other is applying) that did _not_ provide feedback to the other pilot as to what his 'control inputs' (in effect, full back 'stick' for almost the entire time during stalled descent into the sea) were ... when the actual captain came to the flight deck it was too late and one can read/hear his words as to the action taken by the inexperienced PIC ...

You need to read the PPRUNE pilot's 'take' (real pilots, of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft) on that event that explains what I tried to summarize above in extreme brevity; that isn't near the case with system operators in a 'control area' of the 'grid' (excepting maybe First Energy a few years ago, but that was in part willful negligence on their part coupled with unusual outside events (including unexpected warm weather/high electric demand and delayed tree-trimming that tripped critical lines at a critical time)).

BTW, neither pilot on the flight deck at the time the pitot tube iced over (and they left "Normal Law") had near the time of the captain had (and he was NOT on the flight deck until the final minute.)

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/489774-af-447-thread-no-9-a.html

BTW, you 'breezed' right into a 'spoofing' scenario without the slightest regard for the barriers in place I mentioned in my previous post; this the 'magic' hand-waving scenario you propose in lieu of the hard, actual work of hacking into the network and providing a number of bogus inputs to the 'state estimator' (that provides the system status reports) from the wide-spatial-ranging inputs (currents and voltages and their phase relationships) to show a 'spoofed' state? Gee, I like this hand-waving magical approach to throwing out hacking 'threats' ... maybe hand-waving 'magical' solutions are also required (magic beads and the burning of incense as a start maybe)?

42 posted on 08/06/2012 10:31:47 AM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favorite tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: null and void
... Compare to the mid-Atlantic Air France crash.

The crew believed their readouts and stalled the Airbus every inch of 30,000 ft to the water.

Different situation; inexperienced, low-hour PIC (pilot in command) in a cockpit (Airbus model that does NOT use coupled sticks like Boeing aircraft to allow one pilot to feel the sidestick/control inputs that the other is applying) that did _not_ provide feedback to the other pilot as to what his 'control inputs' (in effect, full back 'stick' for almost the entire time during stalled descent into the sea) were ... when the actual captain came to the flight deck it was too late and one can read/hear his words as to the action taken by the inexperienced PIC ...

You need to read the PPRUNE pilot's 'take' (real pilots, of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft) on that event that explains what I tried to summarize above in extreme brevity; that isn't near the case with system operators in a 'control area' of the 'grid' (excepting maybe First Energy a few years ago, but that was in part willful negligence on their part coupled with unusual outside events (including unexpected warm weather/high electric demand and delayed tree-trimming that tripped critical lines at a critical time)).

BTW, neither pilot on the flight deck at the time the pitot tube iced over (and they left "Normal Law") had near the time of the captain had (and he was NOT on the flight deck until the final minute.)

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/489774-af-447-thread-no-9-a.html

BTW, you 'breezed' right into a 'spoofing' scenario without the slightest regard for the barriers in place I mentioned in my previous post; this the 'magic' hand-waving scenario you propose in lieu of the hard, actual work of hacking into the network and providing a number of bogus inputs to the 'state estimator' (that provides the system status reports) from the wide-spatial-ranging inputs (currents and voltages and their phase relationships) to show a 'spoofed' state?

Gee, I like this hand-waving magical approach to throwing out hacking 'threats' ... maybe hand-waving 'magical' solutions are also required (magic beads and the burning of incense as a start maybe)?

43 posted on 08/06/2012 10:32:12 AM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favorite tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: _Jim
Gee, I like this hand-waving magical approach to throwing out hacking 'threats' ... maybe hand-waving 'magical' solutions are also required (magic beads and the burning of incense as a start maybe)?

Incense, or a judicious application of high explosives...

My money's on a nation-state (or religion-state) throwing enough assets at the problem of the barriers to overcome them and do real damage to the generators and difficult to repair or replace critical items.

Another possibility is a coordinated attack on power lines by any number of OTMs that have crossed our hyper porous southern border over the last decade that could black out enough areas as to be a practical equivalent of shutting down "the grid".

Or even something neither you nor I are clever enough to foresee.

[insert Larson cartoon "They're lighting their arrows! Can they DO that???"]

44 posted on 08/06/2012 11:05:03 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1294 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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