The threat of a devastating cyber attack on the U.S. electrical grid is increasing due to the Obama administration’s politically correct policies that spend vast sums on green and smart grid technologies while failing to secure power grids from cyber attack.
A report by the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, warns that the push to integrate wind and solar electrical power into the $6 trillion electric utility system has created new vulnerabilities that other nations could exploit in a future cyber war.
“Electric grids have always been vulnerable to natural hazards and malicious physical attacks,” writes Mark Mills, a physicist and engineer who authored the Manhattan Institute report. “Now the U.S. faces a new risk—cyber attacks—that could threaten public safety and greatly disrupt daily life.”
The U.S. electrical power network is not made up of a single grid, but a complex web of eight regional “supergrids” linked to thousands of local grids. Under a drive for improved efficiency, government policymakers and regulators in recent years have spent tens of billions of dollars on so-called “smart grid” technology. But the efficiency drive has not been matched with new technology that will secure grids against cyber attacks.
Utility owners also have resisted improving cyber security over concerns doing so would increase operating costs and force unpopular rate hikes. Yet the failure to take steps now to deal with future threats could prove catastrophic.
The threat, according to the report, is not the current state of security but the future use of greener and smarter electric grids, interconnected and linked to the Internet. “These greener, smarter grids will involve a vast expansion of the Internet of Things that greatly increases the cyber attack surface available to malicious hackers and hostile nation-state entities,” the report warns, adding that cyber attacks overall have risen 60 percent annually over the past six years and increasingly include the targeting of electric utilities.
A recent survey by Cisco Systems revealed t