U.S. power grid seen at risk

Members of Congress launched an effort Thursday to protect the nation's electricity grid from criminals, vandals, or U.S. enemies.

05/01/2009


 

According to a story in The Washington Times . key members of Congress launched an effort Thursday to protect the nation's electricity grid from criminals, vandals, or U.S. enemies, who could use the Internet to cripple computers that control the generation and distribution of power.

The effort, led by the chairmen of the House and Senate homeland security committees, follows reports of hackers - possibly working for foreign governments - probing power controls for weaknesses.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to supersede the power industry's self-governing body in setting security standards.

The grid is increasingly dependent on control systems operated over computer networks including the Internet.

In 2007, researchers at the Dept. of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory produced a video illustrating how hackers could destroy a generator by forcing it to operate at speeds that would literally shake it apart - a scenario dubbed the Aurora vulnerability.

Read the full story.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.