US Power Co. Cyberattacked 10K Times a Month

Finding comes amid report on vulnerability of our grid

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 22, 2013 8:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Could foreign hackers take out America's electric grid? A new congressional report says it's a very real threat, with more than a dozen of nearly 100 electric utilities surveyed reporting constant or frequent cyberattacks, Reuters reports. One utility said it was battered by a staggering 10,000 attacks a month; another reported daily such activity that is "automated and dynamic in nature, able to adapt to what is discovered during its probing process."

"National security experts say that cyberattacks on America's electric grid top the target list for terrorists and rogue states, yet we remain highly vulnerable to attacks," said Rep. Ed Markey, one of the lawmakers behind the report, per Politico. The report finds that while the utilities comply with certain basic national standards, "most" haven't implemented recommended but voluntary extra cyber-security measures. Markey and Rep. Henry Waxman are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the power to enforce grid-protecting measures.

This composite image made available by NASA shows the US's lights at night.
This composite image made available by NASA shows the US's lights at night.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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