Tags: Trump Administration | electrical grid | blackouts | terrorism | energy

Nation's Electric Grid Vulnerable to Wave of Attacks

Image: Nation's Electric Grid Vulnerable to Wave of Attacks
The New York City skyline affected by a blackout (above) and fully powered (below). (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 March 2018 03:54 PM

The nation's energy industry is lagging in efforts to enhance physical security at critical sites, and the federal government is concerned the nation's electric grid is becoming increasingly vulnerable to an unprecedented wave of attacks, The Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.

This is despite attempts by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to force the power industry to carry out a series of security improvements in order to stop potential attackers and terrorists from crippling the nation's infrastructure.

"Security risks to the power grid have become an even greater concern in the electric utility industry" since 2014, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.

It warns the power industry "has not necessarily reached the level of physical security needed based on the sector's own assessments of risk."

Even three years after the federal government enacted new standards for physical security of grid locations, the industry is still struggling to implement all of the recommendations, which only increases the chance of a successful major attack.

The situation has raised concern in Congress, particularly amid a wave of increasing attacks on key power stations nationwide. The complete details of the pressing threats were omitted in the public part of the report due to national security concerns.

A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences also painted the situation as dire.

"While to date there have been only minor attacks on the power system in the United States, large-scale physical destruction of key parts of the power system by terrorists is a real danger," the academy warned, according to the Free Beacon. "Some physical attacks could cause disruption in system operations that last for weeks or months."

The congressional report also pointed out, despite the recognition of the dangers, "there is currently no comprehensive accounting of changes in physical security throughout the sector," and it remains unclear how much the power industry has bolstered defenses against even the crudest of attacks.

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The U.S. government is concerned the nation's electric grid is becoming increasingly vulnerable to attacks, and the nation's energy industry is lagging in efforts to enhance physical security at critical sites, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
electrical grid, blackouts, terrorism, energy
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2018-54-27
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 03:54 PM
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