reply to discussion below hmls wk 3 1
Protecting power grids from cyber attacks has been gaining attention for the last several years. Last year, hackers infiltrated the computer systems of a consortium of small utilities known as the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool 3.8 million times. The network serves 200 communities in six Midwestern and Rocky Mountain states. The U.S. power grid’s vast size and aging equipment make the system highly susceptible to both cyber and physical attacks on its transformers, substations and power lines by saboteurs or terrorists. The growing use of a computerized â€œsmart grid,â€ where sensors replace human meter readers to gather data and communicate digitally with a utility’s operations center, adds to the challenges. In a worst-case scenario, coordinated attacks on the U.S. electrical grid could cause massive economic losses and perhaps widespread illness or death. Because of advanced electronic technology, these attacks can now happen from any country. Computer hacking has removed security fences for the would-be attacker.