U.S. Cyber Command: No question an attack will bring the grid down

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Yard Dart, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator


    Adm. Mike Rogers, Cyber Command chief and director of the National Security Agency, recently told a crowd gathered for a security conference in San Francisco that the country should brace for devastating cyberattacks on vulnerable infrastructure.

    “It is only a matter of the ‘when,’ not the ‘if’ we’re going to see a nation-state, group or actor engage in destructive behavior against critical infrastructure in the United States,” Rogers said.

    Rogers pointed to a recent “very well-crafted attack” on the Ukrainian electrical grid that left more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power as an example of the kind of threat facing the U.S. grid.

    According to a State Department investigation into the Ukrainian attack: “The outage was the result of a cyber attack against the networks of the local power company, marking the first blackout to be caused by malicious software.”

    But, Rogers warned: ” This isn’t the last we’re going to see this, and that worries me.”

    The CYBERCOM chief also noted that terrorists could also use hacking skills to manipulate data crucial to keeping the nation’s infrastructure running smoothly.

    “What happens when that same activity is used to manipulate data, to manipulate software or products, and suddenly we can no longer trust the data we’re visually seeing?” he asked.

    The short answer is chaos.

    And causing a nationwide blackout in the U.S. wouldn’t be as difficult for hackers as you may think.

    A recent report in The Wall Street Journal noted, “The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country’s 55,000 electric transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.”

    Unfortunately, for all the worrying officials like Rogers are doing about a cyberattack on the nation’s power grid, there’s little the government can do to stop it.

    Replacing vulnerable energy infrastructure would take years and cost trillions of dollars. And even if new infrastructure and security protocols were put into place, it’s become pretty clear in recent years that the federal government isn’t very good at cybersecurity.

    Thankfully, we’ve recently learned of a few private companies developing profitable strategies for protecting the power grid in ways that the government can’t.

    U.S. Cyber Command: No question an attack will bring the grid down - Personal Liberty®
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  2. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    They usually focus on the electrical grid very important but what about the natural gas grid?

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  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Equal, one and the same.... if they can hit the electrical grid, they can hit most any other national feature we have... including the NG grid with little ability to stop it.
  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If they hit NG in November, December the sales electric heaters and use of electricity use sky rockets...
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  5. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    The stack-o-wood...... Will heat many folks,.
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  6. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    If the Grid goes down there will be a ripple effect that will be off the scale in terms of severity.

    Starting just any ole' where:

    No traffic lights, and no one to direct traffic. Transportation in large cities will grind to a halt within the hour. The JIT delivery system will instantly fall apart.

    No deliveries means no fuel and no food.

    No fuel means hospitals, fire departments, police stations, and government services at every level will effectively stop functioning as soon as the diesel for their backup generators runs out.

    No police means unchecked crime and violence. No fire departments means unchecked fires and firestorms across the nation. No government services means no effective regulation of anything, and a lot of people jonesing for their dole.

    No food means widespread riots, looting, and in a VERY short time widespread cannibalism. Humans eating humans is the first and most often censored fact about severe famines. It is, in fact, almost the defining criteria of a severe famine. And after every severe famine the survivors do their level best to sweep that untidy business under the rug and forget all about it. Mommy never tells the new children the stories about how she and daddy ate the neighbors many years ago. And, very possibly, the brothers and sisters they don't have.

    Water distribution will cease, because you can't pump water for a city by hand. Potable water will become a form of currency--the ultimate barter item.

    Sanitation will cease without running water, and every source of accessible open water will almost immediately become sewage-polluted and unsafe to drink.

    Lacking the means to boil water, many will drink of necessity and die as a result.

    Hospitals will shut down. Patients and potential patients will live or die according to the severity of their aliments. The Survival of the Fittest will be the new reality. Everyone else will be required to leave the gene pool. Immediately.

    Elevators will stop running, and everyone above about the fourth floor in every high-rise building in America will eventually have to walk down the stairs one last time--or die stranded for lack of food and water. A whole new class of refugees will be born: The gravity-dispossessed.

    Apartments and offices will empty out and stay empty because people just can't climb five floors on a continuing basis. In the 1800s, before elevators, hotels generally topped out at four floors. The fourth was occupied only by janitors, servants, and desperately poor lodgers.

    Business will close with the loss of telephones, computers, and the Internet. "Wall Street" will cease to exist as all high-level economic transactions stop dead. And that will be reflected in the closing of every bank in America within a few hours at most.

    Industry will shut down overnight. No more factory food, no more shiny chrome blenders, and no more nuts, bolts, nails, screws, pipes, or agricultural implements.

    No electricity means no refrigeration, and no storage of perishable foods, exacerbating the severity of local food shortages.

    We are all right now living on the slopes of Vesuvius and watching the flames and smoke belch out. We are all watching our dinnerware rattle across our tables. And very few of us--very few--will try to get out while they can. As always, we'll mostly only try to get out when we have to. And that will be, for most of us, when it's much too late.

    (Sigh. If, in describing this bleak scenario, I err, it's probably just because I am so persistently optimistic.)
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  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Bring on the fire sale. [woot]
  8. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    I wouldn't eat my own children. My neighbors, maybe...
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  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You are an entertaining writer, but I do not see the lightning shutdown of life as we know it, as you discribe. If I may? I would go point by point within your quote. On some things I believe you are dead on, but not all else follows well.
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  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Hey, kellory! That was a a great reply. I really enjoyed reading it.
    I think we mostly only differ in degree.

    I think traffic cops could hold things together for a while in a few places, but there are just too many intersections to cover them all. And while they're tied up with that, of course, there's no one available to go on patrol, etc.

    My view on the trucking failure is more from the perspective that a lot of trucks wouldn't be able to refuel on the road--and even with hand pumps, the time losses in line would be enormous. And also they wouldn't be able to get through snarled traffic in the big cities. Then, food trucks especially, they'd start getting looted by mobs. Likewise many truckers with families would just head for home when they realized how bad the situation was. Some would make their deliveries, but not enough to supply the populace.

    I do agree that available fuel would be earmarked for vital services so they could operate as long as possible.

    With the gravity-dispossessed I was thinking more along the lines of the old folks in their high-rise condos.
    They just can't do stairs anymore. At least not more than a few flights headed down. It's like with fire rangers in their towers: first day on the job they run up and down the stairs six or eight times. Second day, and thereafter, they do it exactly once.

    I think you're right: some factories would continue to run for a while, if they had fuel. At worst, they pay the workers in product and let them barter it for what they needed.

    In any case, it's a great exchange of ideas.
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  11. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    That's one thing I worry about with all the 'solar farms' popping up in our area...one's just about done, 2 or 3 more have been approved to start construction. I just see it raising the profile of our area into a potential target. I do worry about people in our area in a grid-down scenario. Some of them, I'm surprised they can function. Someone have said the reason we have a bad winter is because the solar panels are sucking up all the heat, or we will have to deal with the reflection off them affecting our vision.
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  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    But, ONLY if they were probably cooked. We don't want a case of food poisoning on top of everything else! :p
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  13. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    This notion that cops are going to be directing traffic is a fantasy...they will be busy doing other more important things. People don't need traffic lights though...all you gotta do is treat signaled intersections as 4-way stops. Granted, many get confused at normal 4-way stops...but oh well. ;)
  14. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I would not rely solely on wood for heat post SHTF Fifle made it clear people were burning every thing including doors and any wood framework because sources for wood had been exhausted.
    There was a town in the late 1800s in the San Bernardino mountains that dissolved due to the loss of forest being used for mining and keeping warm in the snowy winter months .this was before the 1929 crash so disaster had nothing to do with it.
    Greed and short sightedness to be sure.
    When posible ,solar energy, direct heat from the sunlight, using mirrors,or parabolic dishes, or fresnel lenses, should be implemented as much as possible , saving the more delicate resources for times there is little sunlight to deal with.
    There is also thermal voltage power as well using thermocouple technology and any fire can generate power.
    Photovoltaic is not the same It does not use heat it uses light only . (cold actually makes it more efficient.)
    A thermal generator occupies a fraction of the space the photovoltaic requires ,watt for watt.
    When I an afford it I will be adding a few of these to my system and mounting them near my wood stove.
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  15. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    A well managed wood lot will out last it's inhabitants. it's when there is more being consumed than can regrow that a problem begins.
    Hardly any trees in cities so Yep, they'll be burning anything flammable to stay warm. But when it's gone .. move further afield until you meet someone protecting their managed woodlot, then they won't have to worry about staying warm anymore. ;)
  16. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    In our modern and enlightened times (at least hereabouts) when a traffic signal dies, there'll be one or two cops out directing traffic until it's fixed. Usually with two cruisers idling in the median with their light bars flashing.

    People will treat a blinded intersection as a four-way stop, but only up to a point. When you have more than a two lane-intersection to deal with, that just breaks down. After that it's every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.

    Add any degree of public panic to lightless intersections, and you'll have everything from accidents to carjackings, shootings, and car-lootings.

    There just aren't enough cops to direct traffic at every intersection if they all go dark. In any city, much less the large ones. Nor would there be enough fuel to squander on trying to keep the intersections clear.

    So, very soon, no electricity = no police. And if the roads aren't clear, fire trucks can't make it to a fire in time to fight it.

    And in addition to that, as soon as it became a choice of duty or saving your own family's life, you'd see a lot of cops not showing up for their shifts. Not because they're bad cops, but because they're good family-men.

    Ultimately, civilization as we know it will shake itself to pieces as soon as the lights go out.

    We are addicted to electricity. Only a few of us will survive if we have to kick that addiction cold turkey.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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  17. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    I can pretty much mitigate the grid going down as far as electricity goes. That's why I have been prepping for the last 20 years. The part that would put me in a bind, would be if its EMP related and it takes my vehicles out. My current situation calls for a move to my bug out location for long term survival. As time goes on I will mitigate that problem too. But I haven't seen the schedule and no one else has either. Is there time?
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  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Practically every single time I leave the house I calculate the time it would take to get home on foot and the route I might have to take.
    I built a 2 wheel break down cart to haul what I can, in that event, I figure it's best to take every thing I can, and loose/barter what I have to along the way if necessary, than to leave assets behind.
    If the motorcycle is dead due to EMP than I will strip it of any thing still useful like battery and lights ,I have a small solar panel to recharge the battery during the day.
    Depending on the events as they occur , I anticipate being away from the house and in particularly bad weather, so that is the kind of gear I pack.
    Being able to have light with out fire is extremely important , it allows one to conceal the light they have for reading maps and making notes , to avoid unwanted contact in a hostile situation.
    Don't bet on flash lights unless they are protected from EMP, at least the spare light bulb .
    Old fashioned lights with incandescent bulbs have replacement LED for them ,,better still is having both the incandescent and spare LED put away protected at hand.
    LED will all fry in an EMP
    Don't throw away all your incandescent bulbs.
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  19. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I'm not suggesting anything remarkable, but I do believe an LED would fare much better in an EMP than many would think. An LED is just a diode (it does not store voltage) and if the EMP is strong enough to fry the transistor and capacitor on your device, it won't matter what type of bulb you have. An LED would be more resistant than an incandescent bulb in my opinion. Also, if you want to protect your LED equipment, just remove the batteries and do not have the switch turned on --that alone should be enough to save your bulb. As for the sensitive electronics, well...use an old microwave or build a Faraday cage to store your items, that seems popular.

    Good luck!
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  20. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Cords of wood will get us through winter. ;)

    Lots of food will keep our bellies full.

    Where the real chaos would be is in the cities and suburbia.
    Cruisin Sloth and Aeason like this.
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