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A call for critical thinking about securing our electric grid




A call for critical thinking about securing our electric grid
A call for critical thinking about securing our electric grid



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http://fcw.com/articles/2010/01/27/cybereye-012510.aspx 

By William Jackson
FCW.com
Jan 27, 2010

The electric power grid has emerged as one of the most critical elements 
of our nation's critical infrastructure, and efforts to create an 
interoperable Smart Grid with two-way communications and power flow are 
highlighting the need for security. However, there also is a need for 
more critical thinking about the grid=E2=80=99s vulnerability, according to at 
least one expert. It might not be as fragile as it appears.

Terry Michalske, director of energy and security systems at Sandia 
National Laboratories, expressed the conventional wisdom at a recent 
conference on cybersecurity policy hosted in Washington by the Stevens 
Institute of Technology.

"There is probably no better way to cut the legs out from under a modern 
society than by interrupting the power grid," Michalske said. As an 
example, he noted that Hurricane Rita, in 2005, shut down 20 percent of 
the nation's oil refining capability -- not by damaging the refineries, 
but by causing widespread power outages.

Martin Libicki of the Rand Corp. agreed on the grid's significance. 
"It=E2=80=99s fairly clear that the electric power sector would be a most 
critical target for attackers," he said.

[...]


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