Thanks to a multimillion dollar award from the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Arkansas will lead a new national center that will focus on upgrading and protecting the nation’s energy grid from cyber-attacks. University officials said the new educational venture is made possible by a $12.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, augmented by $3.3 million in matching funds from research partners.
Articles Tagged: energy grid
Cybersecurity experts like to divide the world into two categories: Those who have been hacked, and those who have been hacked but don’t yet know it. Electric utilities are being hacked: The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber response team reported 79 cyber incidents in the energy sector in 2014 and 145 in 2013, an average of one every three days.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has had its computers breached by attackers nearly 160 times during a 48-month span up to 2014, according to documents obtained by USA Today. The federal records gathered by the publication show a relentless barrage of cyber attacks as attempts to breach the Department of Energy’s security that safeguards critical information systems. These important and crucial systems contain sensitive data about energy labs, the country’s power grid and significantly, the nuclear weapons stockpile.
The U.S. government is asking energy experts and the general public to weigh in on a new plan to protect the power grid from cyberattacks. The draft proposal, titled “Identity and Access Management for Electric Utilities,” is the result of a partnership between energy companies’ security teams and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), a division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
CRN reports that in mid-August four lightning bolts hit the power grid supplying Google’s “ultra-energy-efficient” data center outside of St. Ghislain, Belgium. The hits caused data loss on “a tiny fraction” of data. Google said that virtually all of the data was restored. The story did not say that the restoration of total.
It’s not that technological opportunities aren’t genuine. The trouble is that they come with huge risks — risks that tend to be minimized or presumed solvable. The more activities we put on the Internet and other networks, the more vulnerable we become to hacking, cyberwarfare, software glitches and the like.
We all know that major storms can wreak havoc, flooding cities and decimating infrastructure. But there’s an even bigger worry than wind and rain: space weather. If a massive solar storm hit us, our technology would be wiped out. The entire planet could go dark.