Pentagon prepares US electric grid for potential attack

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The Pentagon is now taking necessary measures to protect the U.S. electric grid amid threats of a cyber attack or atmospheric nuclear blast attack by hostile countries, such as North Korea and Iran.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has hired BAE Systems to develop a program called Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization Systems, which would be capable of detecting a cyber attack and then boosting an alternative communications network that could be used for military and civilian communications, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.

For the past few decades, former CIA Director James Woolsey has warned that our country’s electric grid is extremely vulnerable to an attack, but his alarms went unheeded until just recently.

Noticing that North Korea now poses a real threat, Woolsey and former EMP Commission chief of staff Peter Vincent Pry are also warning that an atmospheric nuclear explosion over the East Coast could disable the grid; and they say that such a disaster “could end up leading to the death of 90 percent of those in the East.”

The DARPA plan, which won’t be ready until 2020, would be able to react to an attack in several ways:

  • Certain protections would be triggered if an attack was detected.
  • Alternative methods of communications would take over in a backup system designed to aid military and protect the financial system.

DARPA has said its interests lie specifically in “early warning of impending attacks, situation awareness, network isolation and threat characterization in response to a widespread and persistent cyber-attack on the power grid and its dependent systems. Potentially relevant technologies include anomaly detection, planning and automated reasoning, mapping of conventional and industrial control systems networks, ad hoc network formation, analysis of industrial control systems protocols, and rapid forensic characterization of cyber threats in industrial control system devices.”

According to one BAE official, “The purpose for this program is to provide a technology that quickly isolates both the enterprise IP network and the power infrastructure networks to disrupt malicious cyberattacks.”

 

H/T: Washington Examiner

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