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Forget hackers: Squirrels are a bigger threat to America's power grid
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 09:36:58 +0000 (UTC)
By Eugene K. Chow
January 28, 2014
While American lawmakers and security officials repeatedly warn of a
catastrophic cyberattack that will cripple the nation's power grids, in
reality, squirrels and tree branches are proving more troublesome than
hackers when it comes to actual power outages.
According to numerous reports and headlines: America's power grid is "too
vulnerable to cyberattack;" thousands will die if terrorists attack the
grid; cyber attacks could keep America in the dark for nine to 18 months;
and electric companies face "daily" cyber attacks, which over a month can
build to 10,000.
With cyber security so abysmal, incentive so high, and attacks constant,
why hasn't there been a massive hacker-triggered power failure yet? Simply
put, because it's not that easy.
To be clear, attacks on the power grid would be disastrous and there are
significant gaps that must be addressed — procedures improved,
vulnerabilities patched, software updated — but even with these glaring
weaknesses, an ordinary hacker wouldn't be able to take down the
electrical grid. Turning America's lights off remotely is a complex
operation that requires not only hacking expertise but an array of
intelligence and analysis -- something only the most sophisticated
terrorist organizations or nation states can muster.
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- Forget hackers: Squirrels are a bigger threat to America's power grid InfoSec News (Jan 29)