Do Hackers Have The Ability To Get Into The Electricity Grid?

Sometimes people who are not that technical think that the people who are, are some kind of mythical creatures.

This ideal was made fun of in the late 70’s and early 80’s, as a lot of hackers that were into computers labeled themselves as wizards.

Yes, a computer can be a very complicated machine, but so is a car.

It is the job of people who understand the machines to let it be easy for the people that don’t.

This naivety about the power of hackers and what they are able to do has led to some wild stories.

The judge would not let Kevin Mitnick use a telephone in prison because the prosecutor told him that Kevin could start a nuclear war with just a telephone.

Hackers And The Electrical Grid

This is the same kind of thinking that leads people to think that a lone hacker can destroy every electrical grid in America.

The grids are a problem area in our nation infrastructure but some of the doom day scenarios have become outrageous.

Yes, our technical grids are woefully insecure.

And they are very vulnerable to attack.

But it would take a concentrated attack and not one by a person sitting in his living room to pull off.

It would take a very large planned effort for such an attack to occur.

Keep in mind, we are talking about taking down the entire electric grid.

The nations electric grid has been penetrated numerous times but they have not been able to knock the entire structure down.

The US government has kept track how many times the grid has been tampered with.

There have been attempts to map the grid by both the Russians and the Chinese.

Also software has been left inside of the grid.

The nature of this software has not been discovered but it was seen as being harmful.

The government might know the nature of the software but to this day they not revealed it.

can hackers get into the electricity grid?

The private companies that own pieces of the grid must step in to secure the grid better from hacker attacks, even if they are government sponsored.

Last year alone there were numerous penetrations into the system.

It has gotten so bad that the present government administration may decide that they need to hold a meeting to discuss the nations electrical infrastructure.

During the last administration there was over 17 billion dollars spent to help private companies secure the electric networks.

That seems to not have been enough.

The meeting might set new security guidelines that the electric companies must follow under the threat of penalties.

If we are going to talk about the security of our electric infrastructure, we have to keep our imaginations in check and not let them run wild.

Yes, there is a small possibility that someone could attack our infrastructure and leave us all in the dark but that possibility is remote.

The main concern that we should address right now, is the ability of hackers to get in the system and disrupt regional processes.

That is happening now and it is something that must be dealt with.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] a large scale attack they might be able to affect sections that are vital such as the power grid but it would not be a wide scale […]

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