Chinese hackers are reportedly targeting the U.S. power grid to carry out attacks on U.S. security. This alert is part of a new and more significant way of attacking. Today, the hacking of electrical systems is not aimed at physical destruction. This is where the option of sabotage arises, as has been happening in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The blackouts that can be achieved lead to the darkness of a nation and there, generate a certain paranoia of a physical attack. A prolonged blackout, as has happened with utilities in the southeastern United States, has raised concerns. Faced with this fear, several cyber companies are beginning to hedge against this possibility.
At this point, Apple added end-to-end encryption for its iCloud backups. And, as part of this, they have been working on making their cloud available with child abuse material. Similarly, there was a reopening after a long rift with the FBI. This whole situation of cyber attacks, where the power grid could be in the main focus, has been of increasing concern. The cybercriminal forums have seen an increase, in their trend, of the word “scammers”.
Power grid in the eye of the storm
Analyzing the social network Twitter, different documents that feed conspiracy theories can be observed. That hostility has been on the rise, in the United States, within the power system in recent months. For many, these were isolated situations; however, the succession of these situations was attracting attention. Both North and South Carolina states have had problems at electrical substations.
This situation, in addition to leaving thousands of customers without electricity for several days, has also worried the authorities. The word sabotage appears around different events suffered by the electric grid in other states, such as Oregon or Washington. The vulnerability of the U.S. network, to a traditional physical damage, is put in the situation of serious threat.
Control as prevention
Many of the utilities involved, primarily from South Carolina and Washington, have claimed that they suffered from vandalism. In Oregon, however, it was already a deliberate attack with entry through the perimeter fence and damage to equipment, leading to a brief outage. The federal police are investigating the cases that occurred at the different substations. These attacks, which are on the rise, are of concern to the authorities and are reminiscent of other situations that have occurred in the past.
Many remember an isolated and bizarre attack that happened in 2015, at that time the California power grid was attacked. A sniper had shot at an electrical substation. This caused a power outage in part of Silicon Valley, resulting in damages of about $15 million. Although the numbers of incidents seem small, they are still of concern about the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid to planned sabotage.