If cyberwar erupts, America's electric grid is a prime target

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Jedi Knight, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Jedi Knight

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  2. church mouse guy

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    They say that most of us would be dead after a few months. We are very dependent upon electricity for everything from pumping gas for our cars to food preparation and preservation, etc. My place uses a pump to pull water from a well and the pump is electric of course. I need electricity to distribute heat from my gas furnace, etc.

    With the borders wide open, terrorists can walk in and attack the grid, as was done a year or two ago at San Jose when 19 high-powered rifle shots were fired into 19 transformers in an act of terrorism still not solved by police.

    The good news is that Congress is finally aware of the problem and has agreed to look into it. The grid needs to be hardened no matter what.

    Do we even manufacture transformers in this country anymore?
     
    #2 church mouse guy, Dec 23, 2014
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  3. SolaSaint

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    I have always heard of this, but even if this happened can't the grid be repaired or rebuilt? This is what we do when a tornado or hurricane wipes out electrical systems? Sure we maybe down for a few months but I don't see the panic.
     
  4. RLBosley

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    This is the biggest concern I have regarding Cyber warfare and our escalation with the DPRK and the PRC. It's only a matter of time until someone crashes our power infrastructure, and depending on what the hack does, we could be without power in most of the country for months if not years. It would be utter chaos.

    Only slightly more terrifying is the loss of the grid to a Carrington style event rather than a hack. A hack can be stopped or reversed if caught in time by the right people, nothing really can stop a super solar storm and the accompanying CME.
     
    #4 RLBosley, Dec 24, 2014
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  5. RLBosley

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    As I understand it, we do make the small ones you see on telephone poles and have some in storage for quick replacement, but the large power transformers found at substations are manufactured on an as needed basis due to their complexity and high cost. Here is a snippet from a DOE report:

    Link - Opens the report in PDF

    So, in the event of a major cyber attack that brings down the grid, I would say that the manufacturers certainly would have "difficulty in obtaining certain key parts or materials." Not to mention that the manufacturing industry itself would grind to a halt.
     
  6. blackbird

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    Locally------yes-----electric power could possibly be knocked out--as seen in a local tornado, hurricane---some nutt cases who shoot at transformers with their high powered rifles(would probably need fire power along the lines of a .300 Magnum or better to do a good job of it)

    But knocking out the nation wide grid------would take someone with an "Einstein" mentality to pull it off----there are probably very few folks who cross over the Rio Grande illegally who are capable of pulling such a thing off----Einsteins do not need to swim the Rio Grande illegally

    :saint::saint:
     
    #6 blackbird, Dec 24, 2014
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  7. church mouse guy

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    The people who did the trial run in San Jose could have entered from Mexico very easily.

    "...in April 2013 a group of unknown individuals infiltrated a PG&E substation on the outskirts of San Jose, California, cut a series of underground fiber-optic cables then opened fire with high-powered rifles on seventeen high-voltage transformers. The assailants got away and have yet to be identified or apprehended...."

    http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2014/07/17/power-failure/
     
  8. church mouse guy

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    "In fact, a blue-ribbon commission convened by the Congress to examine the
    EMP threat concluded that, if the power went out and stayed off for more than a year in large parts of the United States—a prospect it found was plausible—as many as nine-out-of-ten Americans would perish."

    This comes from the Center for Security Policy white paper on what the government knows but refuses to fix.

    I think that we import the large transformers that you were talking about in your other post. Import them from China....​

     
  9. RLBosley

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    Yep. And in my opinion, it is inevitable. EMP, CME, hackers - somehow, it will happen.

    Yes. We import some - not sure if specifically China, but we import everything else from them so why not...

    But as I understand it we do have a few places that are at least capable of manufacturing them stateside. Though it's probably cheaper to import.
     
    #9 RLBosley, Dec 24, 2014
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