Would you survive an electrical power shutdown lasting several weeks or months? Millions of people across North America wouldn’t.
… we believe it is more a question of “when” than “if.” A targeted cyber attack — either alone or combined with a physical attack — on the power system could lead to huge costs, with sustained outages over large portions of the electric grid and prolonged disruptions in communications, health care delivery and food and water supplies. — USAToday
Experts are worried that the North American power grid is vulnerable to imminent attack. They are still reeling over an April 2013 military-style attack against a California power substation:
“The electrical grid—a network of power generating plants, transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines—is inherently vulnerable,” the report said.
“Transmission substations are critical links in the electrical grid,
In April 2013, “unknown subject(s) fired multiple shots at an electrical transmission substation” in San Jose, Calif., “damaging several transformers,” the report notes.
Surveillance video of the incident shows sparks flying across the compound as bullets strike the substation.
“Authorities subsequently discovered intentionally cut fiber optic cables in a manhole,” according to the report. “No motive or suspects have been identified.” _Beacon
Experts say it is not a question of “if”, but “when” it will happen again, but on a much larger scale.
Even more likely than a large scale military assault against the power grid, is a devastating cyber-attack.
… cyber threats to critical infrastructure — for example, water, energy and telecommunications — are important to our national security. There is evidence that energy systems, in particular, are becoming a popular target. The Department of Homeland Security recently reported responding to 198 cyber-incidents in 2012 across all critical sectors. Forty-one percent of these incidents involved the energy sector, particularly electricity.
Although to date there are no reports of a successful cyber attack on the electric grid, we believe it is more a question of “when” than “if.” A targeted cyber attack — either alone or combined with a physical attack — on the power system could lead to huge costs, with sustained outages over large portions of the electric grid and prolonged disruptions in communications, health care delivery and food and water supplies. _USAToday
… a previously unreleased report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that coordinated attacks on as little as nine strategically located electrical substations could send the nation plunging into darkness for weeks or months. Former FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff has expressed concern that a recent rifle attack on a substation in California was a dress rehearsal for such an assault. __RealClearEnergy
We in the developed world are able to live comfortably due to our high tech infrastructure that supplies us with power, water, food, fuel, medicines, transportation, security against fires and violent attack, and so on. And while threats against that infrastructure are growing more serious and more numerous, the number of people who are competent to protect and maintain that infrastructure is shrinking.
We need enough people of sufficient intelligence and conscientiousness willing to be trained to support a high tech infrastructure, and willing to make it their life’s work.
SubSaharan Africa and large parts of Asia remain dark, without power and sanitation, most or all of the time. These areas lack enough humans with sufficient IQ and conscientiousness to maintain a sophisticated infrastructure.
Most population growth is occurring in these “dark” areas. As excess populations from dark areas try to emigrate to more developed areas in Europe and the Anglosphere, they risk dragging down the population IQ and conscientiousness of more developed areas. How long before the developed world can no longer maintain its infrastructure?
Download New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center report on power grid security.