Rate of Attacks on U.S. Power Grid is Astonishing

Recent reports suggest that the power grid is attacked way more often than most Americans think it is. How often is the grid attacked? Every four days, on average.

According to Off The Grid News:

The power grid upon which Americans depend for nearly every aspect of life is attacked once every four days, an investigative report from the nation’s largest newspaper chain revealed.

Gannett and USA Today reporters analyzed federal energy records and found that a cyber or physical attack takes place so often – nearly 100 times a year – that government officials and grid experts are growing increasingly concerned that it’s just a matter of time before an attack is successful.

The March (2015) analysis by USA Today and more than 10 Gannett newspapers and TV stations drew from “thousands of pages of government records, federal energy data and a survey of more than 50 electric utilities.”

Experts are concerned because a successful attack on just a portion of the grid could create a cascading or rolling power outage that could shut off electricity to large areas of the country.

“Because the nation’s electrical grid operates as an interdependent network, the failure of any one element requires energy to be drawn from other areas,” the report says. “If multiple parts fail at the same time, there is the potential for a cascading effect that could leave millions in the darks for days, weeks or longer.”

Last year, a federal report found that if just nine of the nation’s 55,000 substations failed or were sabotaged, the entire nation would suffer a blackout for weeks, if not months. Members of the EMP Commission that reported to Congress found that if the grid is down for one year, 70-90 percent of the US — between 200 million and 285 million Americans — would die due to starvation, a lack of medical supplies, and civil unrest. One big reason an attack would do so much damage is because there are no backup parts to much of the system; they’re custom made, and it can take weeks or months to replace them.

Could something so catastrophic happen in the near future? Only time will tell.

 Source: OffTheGridNews

Photo: Brecht Bug on Flickr



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