NY Congresswoman: 100 Percent Chance of Cyber Attack against Power Grid

3 mins read

Rep Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.); Photo: clarke.house.gov, fsu.edu, reversenergy.com

A New York congresswoman says the possibility of cyber attack against the nation’s power grid is 100 percent, and that such an attack would likely do untold harm.

Speaking before the SC World Congress Data Security Conference, Rep. Yvette Clark (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science, and Technology  Subcommittee, said the United States faces chilling odds of an electrical-grid attack.

“Our networks are already being penetrated as we stand here,” Clarke said, according to a report on InfoSecurity.com. “We are already under attack. We must stop asking ourselves ‘could this happen to us’ and move to a default posture that acknowledges this fact and instead asks ‘what can we do to protect ourselves’?”

The power grid, which Clarke said distinguishes the United States as “an advanced, modern civil society,” is vulnerable, not only from possibly adversarial nations, such as Iran and North Korea, but also terrorist organizations.

The northeast blackout of 2003, which kept the lights off for millions in the United States and Canada, would only be the tip of the iceberg if the electrical grid was attacked, Clarke said.

“While our citizens remained relatively calm throughout [that] ordeal,” she said, “it still caused 11 deaths and roughly $6 billion in damages. Imagine what those damages would be for a nationwide blackout lasting a few weeks.”

A power outage of weeks or months would likely destroy the country, irreparably, she said.

But Clarke’s message wasn’t all doom and gloom. Congress has already begun to take steps, including having hearings about electrical-grid vulnerabilities, she said. Efforts to switch the electrical grid to a digital Smart Grid have also put a spotlight on security concerns.

Long-lasting solutions will require a partnership between government and industry, Clarke said, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“We cannot afford to fail,” she said. “The private sector, the administration, the Congress have all made progress, but we lack the sense of urgency that is necessary. We must move on this forcefully.”

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  1. Ooogah! boogah! the power grid is not part of power grid, not connected to the idiot net. What is this woman smoking?

  2. The threat is very real. I know from personal experience. The corporate networks of utilities have been breached repeatedly.

    The transmission and switching centers are vulnerable. Google “PJM” as one example. It allocates the merchant electricity in Pa, NJ and Md.

    A few solar panels might be a wise investment.

  3. So? Us West Virginians seem to have regular power outages due to storms, and 2 weeks without power, altho upsetting to some, is actually a piece of cake. So even longer without might cause some folks to lose their cool but most of us poor folks who live out in the sticks are prepared to weather a lengthy (if not permanent) stint without “power”… AND we help our neighbors. But we also have LOTS of firepower…. And there are many of us who the mainstream might accuse of being crazy…..

  4. The power grid is NOT connected to the internet, so a cyber attack on the power grid will be an extremely obvious inside job.

  5. Has anyone explained to us why they would be so savagely stupid as to connect the power grid to the public network?
    I mean, besides doing it to invite the danger so they can pass more tyrannical laws – that doesn’t count.

  6. Lucky for us all that the power grid and other sensitive industry is NOT on the internet. To say so is a lie. To hack these you’ll need to get in the building itself and plug directly in.
    Of course, this is the way to fool brainless idiots who will demand the government control the internet. I would prefer the government to stop doing the cyber-attacks personally.

  7. I have a ‘solution’ it must be implemented immediately without question or critical thinking, if you try to slow the process by asking such questions, we have a solution for you too.
    My solution involves requiring every person who accesses the internet to have a personal identification tag.
    We also need the power to disconnect anyone from the internet, and the power to “turn-off” the internet in times of “uncertainty” or “hightened risk”, as determined by us.
    I know patriotic and good citizens will support me in this, we need to protect our freedom from the terrorist, by restricting just a few small freedoms.

  8. Dark storm clouds are on the horizon:

    “Winters of Discontent” are coming.

    We cannot stop what is coming, but we can prepare for what is coming, and WHO is coming. The Word of the Lord is quickly coming to pass…time as we know it is closing. There is a winter in the seasons of the year, and there is a winter in human life,

    In the seasons of the year, the winter’s days are shorter and unfit for long journeys; the roads are bad and sometimes not passable.

    In the human life, infancy is our spring, and the bud of our existence, Nurtured and cherished…life opens its flowers during the summer of youth. In the riper years and in the vigor of manhood…the fruit is put forth, and this is the Autumn of our days.

    If death spares us a little longer, there will come ice in the blood and snow on the brow…if there has been no fleeing to the mercies of the Lord. During the advance of summer and autumn that has warned us that our year would soon draw to a close.

    It will be a very difficult thing, a scarcely possible thing when our limbs have grown rigid, when our blood is cold, and when out foot is halting…our eyes darkening to brave the difficulties of the rugged path of winter:

    Winters of the seasons, and winters of the human life; ready or not, both are coming. Winters of discontent is coming. Time to prepare.

    Acts 2:38 is the narrow path; the blueprint, the footsteps in which to follow. The truth will make us free, but a lie will bind…and a binding is a curse; people choose to curse themselves by believing a lie. A lie is more comfortable; a lie is deceptive.

    This Congress woman’s words will come to pass…it may not be in a manner in which she originally thought, but the point being…”the grid” will shut down, and are we prepared to survive other wise? Nothing is “sustainable” with out the Lord…without Him all will perish. Ready or not…He is coming. The Lord of lords, the King of kings, is coming, He is coming back to establish order…out of this disordered world. Some will be ashamed and have their destiny in the lake of fire…others will be honored and their names will be written in the Book of Life, and live with Him for eternity,

    Some may say that there is no room for this. Well, for those that not make room for the Lord…will make room for themselves in the lake of fire.

    David Underwood
    Windy Acres Ministries
    Kings Mountain, NC

  9. The first thing that needs to be done is to **get rid of Windows on *all* computers that can be used to access controls.** There are other operating systems such as Linux and Unix which are far more stable and secure than Windows, and there is actually a Secure Linux developed by a government agency which is certified for uses where maximum security is needed.

    Windows’ easy vulnerability to malware is legendary, and since it is proprietary no changes or modifications to it are allowed. Linux will run on the same computers Windows will and will outperform circles around it, so there should be no need of changing hardware. It can be obtained by a free download in a variety of flavors from a variety of sources. Most providers will also provide it on a CD or DVD for a small fee. It comes with a comprehensive suite of applications, including a complete office suite, web browser, email, text/HTML editor, sound editor, compiler, various development tools and more. Best of all, Linux is virtually immune to Windows malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms, back doors and the like and should be much harder to hack than Windows.

    It is perfectly legal to modify and make changes to Linux, so a competent programmer could tweak it for special needs. Custom software used to access controls would have to be recompiled for Linux and possibly tweaked to optimize operation.

    It would also probably be the least expensive route to making the power grid more secure.

  10. “Long-lasting solutions will require a partnership between government and industry, Clarke said, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.” This is the real threat. Such “partnerships” are called fascism, and we must withstand the onslaught. They will use any such emergency to further control industry, and bring us to our knees. Private industry is more than adequate to protect the power grid. They have a vested interested in doing so–paying customers. Government only seeks to control your life. We need a tall, strong wall of separation between state and the power grid.

  11. You know. Everytime we as a people are warned by our government, by the terrorists or by anyone who has concrete knowledge of what’s going to happen, most of us respond in disbelief. Sadly, the people of the United States are like sheep being led to the slaugher, or walking zombies.

    Osama Bin Laden warned people about 911. He handed the intel to the government and aired it all over the International News that he would attack this nation and practically precisely how. People thought he was crying wolf. Then came 911-Sept 11th, 2001.
    We are being told there is a 100% probability of an electrical grid attack of this nation, and I am seeing the same response. I really hope that people will take heed to the warnings. Hey, if it is a false alarm, then it is better to be prepared, than to find out the hard way. We can’t blame everything on our government when we are the ones winking our eyes and shutting them close to what’s going on.

  12. Cyber aside: With regard to so-called EMP threats to the Grid: In the mid- 1980’s, I was the USAF Engineering Officer assigned to develop systems to help detect EMP from Nuclear Detonations on and above the Earth, worldwide. We took a room full of expert PHD’s in Physics, RF, and antennas, and spent over two years looking at the EMP problem in depth. Our first conclusion? 90% of the people making EMP claims have zero specialized knowledge in the field and were simply unqualified to make any statements, many of which sound good, but were flat wrong. Second finding: Most of the threat was vastly over-blown and the predictive models did not work correctly. Third finding: If the threat were real, it would cost untold Trillions to comprehensively defend against it. Better to simply have some critical spares in the switched-off mode and make it well-known that anybody stupid enough to try….. and their home territory….. would be nuked into glowing oblivion by the overwhelming US retaliatory attack – “ie. Playing Around With Nukes Not Allowed” — MAD really works — and it is the cheapest defense…..even Iran and bin Laden get that…..

  13. The control of power demand is control through centers that handle large sections of the country. When a plant goes down and the demand is still present the control center has other plants in its control ramp up to catch up with the demand. no it’s not on the internet but it is computer controlled and can be hacked.

  14. Once again miss Clark projects the the true intentions of her behind-the-scene supporters as most so-called leaders do today. Their true intent is to SEEM as though they are doing or do a good job at make-belief and to sell themselves to the public-at- large as being substantial/knowledgeable in the areas of which they speak. Positive Results as we have seen can only be had from that and those grounded in positive and true reality. In the mean time, We take a look around and see the fear mongering while observing the fear monger as we attempt to identify who are their affiliations. At this time, it is rare to find any politician who is not bringing to the people the agenda of those prodding them to make statements not of their own making.
    Look around and see the results of fear in our country, in all countries as a matter of fact. Who is benefiting from these failures, it is these same fear-mongers.

  15. The attack would be allowed or facilitated. In its aftermath, the jackbooted thugs would have free reign over the people they turned unto sheep. We are being conditioned, one terrorist attack after another. As long as you vote in those who would rule over you, instead of serve you, and rob you to pay for debts you don’t owe to private banks that our masters really serve, you will be slaves.

  16. The world is full of religious nuts, conspiracy dimwits and other slow brained creatures that gum up the works .
    Our country is brain dead. We have a real threat and most of the posts responding to this article look like they originated in a mental hospital.
    Where are you Napoleon ?
    You haven’t posted yet…..

  17. An attack on the grid is a very real possibility. An EMP caused by either a nuke in the atmosphere or the SOLAR MAXIMUM would throw us into the dark ages in the blink of an eye. No fear mongering here, just an old guy that knows how ill prepared this country is for a major disaster, Katrina anyone? Americans have become lazy and soft. When faced with the fact that “no one is going to come rescue you”, most Americans would either start looking for someone to tell them what to do or would lay down and give up.

    Most have given up their rights willingly to the TSA so don’t say you are tuff enough to survive. It is time for us to remember that it is the individual that made this country great and can make it great again.

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