Tags: koppel | cyberattack | power | grid | cbs

Koppel: America Woefully Unprepared for Attack on Power Grid

(CBS Sunday Morning)

By    |   Sunday, 01 Nov 2015 08:45 PM

The United States has no plan for a cyberattack against its power grid that could come at the drop of a hat, says former "Nightline" host Ted Koppel, in his new book, "Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath,"  and it has him worried.

"It's frightening," Koppel told "CBS Sunday Morning."

"I mean, it is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids."

Russian and Chinese hackers already are in the nation's power grid, that is mostly connected via the Internet to enable backup power in case of an outage, Koppel said.

"The Iranians may be on the verge of getting in. And then at the bottom of the capability scale are folks like ISIS, terrorist groups," Koppel said he was told by the former chief scientist of the NSA.

"I'm not sure why it hasn't happened yet," cyber security consultant Larry Pesce told CBS. "It's definitely not for lack of capability on various parts, be it us or the enemy. I think it comes down to timing. I think we need to make the right people mad at the right time."

Koppel says he has talked to every former secretary of Homeland Security and was told there is no plan in case of such an attack. The current one, Jeh Johnson, simply pointed to a group of binders on a shelf and said, "'Look, I'm sure there's something up there somewhere," Koppel said.

Homeland Security told CBS it does have a plan, but didn't detail it.

Paul Stockton, a former Defense Department official, also told CBS that Koppel is wrong, though the government and power companies are not near where they should be.

"The government is building plans very, very quickly now to help manage the consequences of an attack on the grid," Stockton said.

Still, Stockton said Koppel is wise to be stocking up on food and water.

"Average citizens need to be able to take care of their own families and their own neighborhoods and their own communities, and not assume that Uncle Sam is somehow going to magically bring in the cavalry and rescue them," he said.

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The United States has no plan for a cyberattack against its power grid that could come at the drop of a hat, says former Nightline host Ted Koppel, in his new book, "Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath," and it has him worried.
koppel, cyberattack, power, grid, cbs
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2015-45-01
Sunday, 01 Nov 2015 08:45 PM
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