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Mon Sep 9, 2019, 03:57 PM

Report reveals play-by-play of first U.S. grid cyberattack

Sadly, it's just a matter of time ...

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1061111289

A first-of-its-kind cyberattack on the U.S. grid created blind spots at a grid control center and several small power generation sites in the western United States, according to a document posted yesterday from the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

The unprecedented cyber disruption this spring did not cause any blackouts, and none of the signal outages at the "low-impact" control center lasted for longer than five minutes, NERC said in the "Lesson Learned" document posted to the grid regulator's website.

But the March 5 event was significant enough to spur the victim utility to report it to the Department of Energy, marking the first disruptive "cyber event" on record for the U.S. power grid (Energywire, April 30).

The case offered a stark demonstration of the risks U.S. power utilities face as their critical control networks grow more digitized and interconnected and more exposed to hackers. "Have as few internet facing devices as possible," NERC urged in its report.

The cyberattack struck at a challenging time for grid operators. Two months prior to the event, then-U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that Russian hackers were capable of interrupting electricity "for at least a few hours," similar to cyberattacks on Ukrainian utilities in 2015 and 2016 that caused hourslong outages for about a quarter-million people.

The more recent cyberthreat appears to have been simpler and far less dangerous than the hacks in Ukraine. The March 5 attack hit web portals for firewalls in use at the undisclosed utility. The hacker or hackers may not have even realized that the online interface was linked to parts of the power grid in California, Utah and Wyoming.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 03:59 PM

1. I remember

 

when DU went down on Election Day. I still think that was fishy, and I am NOT a conspiracy theorist.

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Response to Desert Dem (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:09 PM

2. Yep, it was strange. We never did hear the results of the investigation, I don't think. ... but it

was a definite hack, exploitation of some weaknesses in the site. Imagine how weak the coding/security must be at some places across the US.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:16 PM

3. Like our state voter registration databases

 

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Response to Desert Dem (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:20 PM

4. Yeah! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 06:43 PM

10. Most hacks you never do have a definitive result

You just learn that they exploited a particular weakness in your deployment. You then spend a whole lot of money very fast to fix it.

It's only when it impacts a large number of people or millions or lost that you that FBI MIGHT utilize their resources to find the source.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:20 PM

5. This issue is what scares me the most

and I'm surprised it hasn't happened on a larger scale yet. It's not like TPTB are doing anything to stop it. I cannot even imagine the pandemonium that would ensue.

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Response to shanti (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 04:34 PM

6. With the crazies, guns and ammunition in this country, it's hard to tell what might happen, but I

think, as you say, "I cannot even imagine the pandemonium that would ensue."

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 05:10 PM

7. I hope our nuclear power grids can't be penetrated.

Another good reason to go renewable, decentralized, labor intensive power grids.

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Response to OAITW r.2.0 (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 06:20 PM

8. Yes, the linking of power grids makes sense, but has serious drawbacks, of course, if hacked and

a domino effect happens.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 06:23 PM

9. Moscow Mitch and TrumPutin will take care of it

Expect Moscow Mitch and TrumPutin to remove any remaining obstacles in Putin's way.

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