Ready Nutrition Vegetable Garden In A Can

Pentagon Reveals New Plan for Protecting Grid From Cyber Attacks

powerlines powergrid wikimediaIt’s no secret that preppers don’t trust the government. And it’s not just because we think they’re up to some nefarious shenanigans. We also know that the government is often inept, and can’t be trusted to take care of us in an emergency. Many of us wouldn’t be preppers in the first place if this weren’t true.

However, you have to give credit where credit is due, and for once, it seems like the government deserves a little recognition. The Pentagon has just revealed their plan for dealing with cyber attacks that might take down our nation’s power grid. At first glance it appears to be pretty solid, and I give them kudos for at least trying to shore up a serious risk. As you’ll see however, this plan has a few holes in it.

Their plan, which has been dubbed the Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation, and Characterization (RADICS), involves a sophisticated automated system that would help mitigated the risk of an attack, or at least stifle its damaging effects. The Pentagon hopes that even with a worse case scenario they would be able to bring the grid back online within 7 days (assuming the attack is only digital in nature).

One of the aims of RADICS is to develop detection systems with high sensitivity and low false positive rates, by studying exactly how power grid’s dynamics.

RADICS also calls for the design of a secure emergency network that could connect power suppliers in the moments after an attack.

‘Isolating affected utilities from the internet would enable recovery efforts to proceed without adversary surveillance and interference,’ Everett said.

‘Providing an alternative means for online coordination would enable a more orderly restoration of power among affected organisations.’

Finally, the RADICS will research systems that can localise and characterise malicious software.

The plan sure sounds slick. However, it doesn’t really give us much more safety than we had before, and here’s why:

While the internet has probably made our power system more efficient, it has also made it far more vulnerable to disruption. We’ve essentially traded resilience for efficiency. And unfortunately, this RADICS plan is merely a bandaid on top of a very substantial vulnerability. A vulnerability that has already been exploited. Take a look at this interview CBS did with their former anchor Ted Koppel, who recently finished an extensive investigation into our power grid.

“It’s frightening,” Koppel said. “I mean, it is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids.”

“Who are the potential perpetrators here?” Reid asked. “Who do we have to fear the most? Is it Russia? China? Iran? Terrorists? Individual actors?”

“All those. The interesting thing, Chip, is the ones who are most capable are the ones least likely to do it.

“There are some experts who say they’re already in.”

“Well, they are in. There’s no question about it. They are already in the grid. I was told that by the former Chief Scientist of NSA, he stated categorically the Russians are in, the Chinese are in. The Iranians may be on the verge of getting in. And then at the bottom of the capability scale are folks like ISIS, terrorist groups.”

So nations like Russia and China have already infiltrated our grid, and presumably, could take it down whenever they like without any physical force. We’ve reacted to that threat by creating another automated, interconnected system that could theoretically insulate us from any attack. In other words, we’re protecting one hackable system with another hackable system.

What their new plan really amounts to, is a new step in a digital arms race between the US and other world powers. This is a race which we will either win or lose, and we’ve been losing it for a long time. Does the Pentagon really think that they’re going to turn it all around now?

A far better solution would be to decouple our power grid from the internet, which would help us avoid this existential threat entirely. It sounds crazy, but there’s actually a small percentage of rural power grids that still aren’t plugged in, so to speak. And in any case, the grid worked quite well for a long time before the internet ever took root.

Surely the government will say that this new system is more secure. However, that’s like saying the Titanic is unsinkable. All digital systems are capable of being hacked, without exception. The Pentagon thinks they have a silver bullet solution, but at the end of the day we have the same choice we’ve always had since the proliferation of the internet.

On the one hand, we could have a resilient system with less efficiency. On the other hand, we can engage in a digital arms race with the world’s superpowers, which we may or may not win. Taking that option amounts to flipping a coin to see whose civilization will be completely obliterated without a single shot being fired, if war should occur. The safest option is to stick with resilience, with all its faults, and not flip that coin in the first place.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 21st, 2015
The Ready Nutrition Vegetable Garden In A Can
If you found this article useful, please Vote for Ready Nutrition as a top prepper web site.
share this article with others
related reading
featured today

Leave A Comment...
Ready Nutrition Home Page

  • Randy

    Yes, cyber attacks on ANY system are not good, but physical attacks are FAR worse in any given area. Actual damage to the components and wires means replacements must be brought in and installed. Where will they come from?
    What a total joke that they could get the grid back up in seven days!! Once the burners go cold in a fuel burning power plant, restarts can take a very long time indeed so nothing gets damaged as the parts expand again. It’s not the same as boiling some water for your 4 O’clock tea! Running big rigs into a substation or power plant yard can destroy millions of dollars of hard to replace parts in just seconds at the most. Pulling down some towers or poles can shut down entire sections of a grid for days, or using drones in a switch rack can blow out equipment quite easily.
    And everyone seems to miss on the point of what do you do when the hyperinflation kicks into high gear in the USD, and the men and women who work for the power companies cannot afford to buy enough gas to come in to work after they put the food on the table? Or the utilities can’t pay their fuel bills because the costs are too high and not enough people are able to pay their light bill, thus the power companies don’t have enough money to operate?

    Randy

Ready Nutrition Articles By Category
Looking for something specific on our site? Start your search in our list of articles by main category topic.