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Electrical grid's operator tries to stay ahead of hackers

Electrical grid's operator tries to stay ahead of hackers
Electrical grid's operator tries to stay ahead of hackers

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Houston Chronicle
April 8, 2009

Texas=E2=80=99 electric grid operator constantly upgrades its computer security 
to protect against intrusion by hackers, its chairman said Wednesday 
following published reports that foreign =E2=80=9Cspies=E2=80=9D have probed the 
nation=E2=80=99s power grid for vulnerabilities.

=E2=80=9CWe are constantly modifying and upgrading our protections as technology 
advances, business requirements change and new threats emerge,=E2=80=9D said Bob 
Kahn, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates 
the power grid that carries about 85 percent of the state=E2=80=99s electricity.

The Wall Street Journal reported in Wednesday=E2=80=99s edition that in a number 
of incidents in recent years, it appears operators in China, Russia and 
other nations have tried to map out the U.S. power grid and hide 
software in systems where it might be used in the future. The story 
cited unnamed U.S. intelligence officials.

Officials from those nations denied involvement.

The notion of cyber attacks on government operations or public 
infrastructure is nothing new, said Christian Espinosa, director of 
research and development for EADS NA Defense Security & Systems 
Solutions, a San Antonio-based firm.


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