- Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are concerned about the potential for a cyber attack to cripple the nation's electrical system, and last week held hearings to consider how to guard against, and respond to potentially devastating blackouts.
- According to The Hill, lawmakers at a House subcommittee hearing indicated they believe the grid and nation remain unprepared, with the potential fallout likened to massive earthquakes or other disasters.
- The President of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and CEO Gerry Cauley testified at the hearing; earlier this month the group called for improvements in communications, including upgrading the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) portal and enhancing coordination with law enforcement.
Cyber security continues to be a high-interest topic recently: NERC recently released a report based on simulated grid attacks last year; the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun warning of potential threats, and the House Transportation Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management last week sounded the alarm about potential impacts.
“Virtually all critical infrastructure is dependent upon the electrical grid, particularly lifeline sectors, telecommunications, transportation, water, and financial services,” said Chairman Lou Barletta (R-Pa.)., according to reporting from The Hill. "If the goal of the bad guys is to collapse the U.S. economic system, they are going to cut off the power."
Last month, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security launched a campaign to warn utilities of the potential for cyberattacks, according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon. It will include briefings in eight cities and online webinars. The briefings are called: “Ukraine Cyber Attack: Implications for U.S. Stakeholders."