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Security holes in power grid have federal officials scrambling
LA Times ^ | April 7, 2014 | Evan Halper

Posted on 04/16/2014 12:42:41 PM PDT by george76

In Congress, the vulnerability of the power grid has emerged as among the most pressing domestic security concerns.

...

Crain, the owner of a small tech firm in Raleigh, N.C., along with a research partner, found penetrating transmission systems used by dozens of utilities to be startlingly easy. After they shared their discovery with beleaguered utility security officials, the Homeland Security Department began sending alerts to power grid operators, advising them to upgrade their software.

The alerts haven't stopped because Crain keeps finding new security holes he can exploit.

"There are a lot of people going through various stages of denial" about how easily terrorists could disrupt the power grid, he said. "If I could write a tool that does this, you can be sure a nation state or someone with more resources could."

Those sorts of warnings, along with vivid demonstrations of the grid's vulnerability, such as an incident a year ago in which unknown assailants fired on a power station near San Jose, nearly knocking out electricity to Silicon Valley, have grabbed official attention.

...

a cyberterrorist with a little knowledge and the right laptop can gain that access and cause chaos in a regional power system merely by linking up with the control panel at a secluded electric vehicle charging station.

Other attacks, as the Silicon Valley incident showed, can take shape without computers. Last month, New Jersey's Regional Operations Intelligence Center, a state agency that monitors security threats, published a report revealing constant breaches at power stations. The incidents involved people armed with such mundane equipment as false identification, wire cutters and crowbars.

...

"Many of the grid's important components sit out in the open," the report said, "often in remote locations, protected by little more than cameras and chain-link fences."

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: California; US: New Jersey; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: nationalsecurity; powergrid; sanjose

1 posted on 04/16/2014 12:42:41 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76

“We have top men working on that right now.”

“Who?”

“Top...Men.”


2 posted on 04/16/2014 12:46:03 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: george76

Imagine what they could have done with all the $$ wasted on ‘green energy’ & failed governmental business investments...


3 posted on 04/16/2014 12:51:52 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: george76
“We have top men working on that right now.”

Fortunately, now that the Obamacare website is fixed, they can redeploy all those brilliant engineers who developed and fixed it and reassign them to the task of preserving the security of the power grid.

4 posted on 04/16/2014 12:59:20 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: Maceman; appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...
“We have top men working on that right now.”

The same guys that brought you the Obamacare website no doubt.

Preppers' PING!!
5 posted on 04/16/2014 1:07:13 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Kartographer

That’s a line from Caddy Shack!


6 posted on 04/16/2014 1:09:04 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: logi_cal869
Imagine what they could have done with all the $$ wasted on ‘green energy’ & failed governmental business investments...

Silly....that $$ is strictly for lining the pockets of DC deal makers, not for safeguarding us plebs who pay for all of it!

7 posted on 04/16/2014 1:14:30 PM PDT by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: MrB
BUZZZZZZZ...

What is Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.
Indiana: Who?
Maj. Eaton: Top... men

8 posted on 04/16/2014 1:17:24 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: MrB
That’s a line from Caddy Shack!

Not from Caddy Shack, but Raiders of the Lost Ark.

9 posted on 04/16/2014 1:18:14 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: IYAS9YAS; Kartographer

I was thinking of this line from the Scottish Groundskeeper, referring to killing all the go[l]phers:

“I’ll put my best man on it!”


10 posted on 04/16/2014 1:26:50 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: george76

Just theorizing here:

If somebody happened to take out the grid that feeds Vegas, would the feds shift the focus away from rustling cattle and deal with the ensuing chaos?

/theory


11 posted on 04/16/2014 1:34:13 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: Kartographer

Probably the same ones who were working on the Ark of the Covenant.

Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.
Indiana: Who?
Maj. Eaton: Top... men.


12 posted on 04/16/2014 1:34:18 PM PDT by ronnyquest (I spent 20 years in the Army fighting the enemies of liberty only to see marxism elected at home.)
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To: mabarker1

NAHHHH! First things first!


13 posted on 04/16/2014 1:37:50 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: george76

Hey, you armed BLM marshals and swat teams. Forget about the power grid vulnerabilities open to our enemies and terrorists. Our priorities are to get those beef cattle off of their range land in Nevada so they don’t imperil the endangered tortoises out there or interfere with Harry Reid’s solar energy scheme with the Chicoms.

First things first, doncha’ know?


14 posted on 04/16/2014 1:50:36 PM PDT by HotHunt
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To: george76

Might wanna give securing the southern border some thought......


15 posted on 04/16/2014 2:00:53 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: george76

This is so unnecessary ...

I work in telecom [as a consultant]. I always advise my clients that they should not put command and control functions of their equipment on to the Internet.

My clients can put alarm functions on the Internet that notify them when something is wrong. They then have to go to alternate modes of communication in order to control the equipment.

The alternate modes of communication? Either a dedicated T1 line or a dial-back modem [with username/password authentication].

Simple, secure, and relatively cheap - just the cost of doing business.


16 posted on 04/16/2014 2:05:16 PM PDT by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56

They not only shouldn’t put it on the internet. They shouldn’t have it on computers that are connected to the internet. It should be a closed system.


17 posted on 04/16/2014 2:37:10 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Lmo56

They not only shouldn’t put it on the internet. They shouldn’t have it on computers that are connected to the internet. It should be a closed system.


18 posted on 04/16/2014 2:37:11 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: george76

Too little and too late. These federal bureaucrats couldn’t pour water out of a boot. Their skills at fighting terrorism are so good that if they provided security for the the Sahara Desert, in five years the Sahara would have a shortage of sand. Incompetent does not begin to describe these oafs with attitudes.


19 posted on 04/16/2014 3:47:11 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: george76

Barry is scrambling to inform the muzzies what those holes are.


20 posted on 04/16/2014 3:51:43 PM PDT by Old Yeller (In Latin, the word sinister means left. Which is appropriate for left-wingers.)
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To: Lmo56

I commend dedicated point to point Ethernet to my customers for that purpose. Better bandwidth and the costs have dropped dramatically on those in the last few years.


21 posted on 04/16/2014 4:00:32 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: mabarker1

I doubt it. They have done diddly squat about chaos all along the border between the USA and Mexico.


22 posted on 04/16/2014 4:21:42 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Jane Long
I 'was' silly...neglected my </sarc> tag :)

Exactamundo, however!

23 posted on 04/16/2014 5:05:00 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: onedoug
“We have top men working on that right now.”

Al Czervik to the rescue!

24 posted on 04/16/2014 6:58:08 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (No $#@t there I was...)
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To: george76

Might wanna give securing the southern border some thought......


25 posted on 04/16/2014 7:43:41 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: greeneyes

Yeah but that would cut into dingy’s cash flow from town


26 posted on 04/16/2014 8:19:48 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: george76

” a cyberterrorist with a little knowledge and the right laptop can gain that access and cause chaos in a regional power system merely by linking up with the control panel at a secluded electric vehicle charging station. “

‘Scuze me while I chuckle over THIS one ....


27 posted on 04/16/2014 8:25:08 PM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: george76

” Those sorts of warnings, along with vivid demonstrations of the grid’s vulnerability, such as an incident a year ago in which unknown assailants fired on a power station near San Jose, nearly knocking out electricity to Silicon Valley, have grabbed official attention. “

Duh.

Every inch of ‘line’ is ‘unguarded’ too; someone, some company is ‘rent seeking’ with these so-called reports.

Watch closely for ‘brother-in-law’ deals to be struck and political kick-backs as well. (Follow the money!)


28 posted on 04/16/2014 8:27:46 PM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
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To: mabarker1

Wouldn’t matter feudal lord dingy must have his way, no toleration of peons failing to snap to and obey. How dare they have the audacity of saying NO.

Little men like dingy can’t take that and retaliation blinds them till they get their revenge.


29 posted on 04/16/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Kartographer

Heck if China gets it’s solar throughout the US it will have access to the grid.....and could use it as an antenna to “hear” and “Monitor” what it wants of our military....


30 posted on 04/16/2014 11:13:50 PM PDT by caww
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To: onedoug

“They” have known about these weaknesses for years, maybe decades. It costs MONEY to fix them properly and the Utilities and the Government don’t want to spend that money. Each for their own reasons.

Now that the info is out they need to “Do Something” that should have been in the works a long, long time ago.


31 posted on 04/17/2014 6:19:36 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: george76
If I could write a tool that does this, you can be sure a nation state or someone with more resources could already has.

There, fixed it.

32 posted on 04/17/2014 6:54:53 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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