obamaLast night President Obama issued an executive order that seeks to shore up the nation’s cyber-defenses operators of crucial infrastructure, including electric utilities, dams and mass transit.

As part of his statement he stated: “Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air-traffic control systems.”

Holy-crap… I assume he has specific intelligence on this. I have been talking about this since stuxnet caused centrifuges to physically explode in Iran. If that can be done by a virus then it would be even easier to allow a generator to over spin and burn out the coil. Think about it, if this were to happen to our power plants the entire US would be without power for a very long time. I would think it would be years before we got the power back on.

We have had a lot of analysis on this in regards to a Nuclear attack where a nuke is detonated over the US and the Electro Magnetic Pulse causes a similar power outage across the country. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 reestablished the EMP Commission to continue its efforts “to monitor, investigate, and make recommendations, and report to Congress on the evolving threat to the United States from electromagnetic pulse attack resulting from the detonation of a nuclear weapon or weapons at high altitude.

The commission concluded: if significant parts of the electrical power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities.

It would be – The End of the World As We Know It. No cell phones, no motor car, not a single luxury. No gas stations, natural gas or water service. Finding food would be the major problem for survival.

I don’t mean to be all Y2k on this but I hope we are able to respond to this like we did with Y2K and fix our infrastructure so that we can avoid this outcome.

In the order, Obama directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cyber security practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. Here is one idea – Disconnect your power monitoring and management systems from the internet and your internet connected intranet! I know – I know – what a pain for management, patching, reporting and increased costs. Ok here is the cool part we we all get to live and it will help stimulate the economy just like Y2K did.
 Smile – Brian