In recent days, the FBI, along with the Department of Homeland Security, made a startling admission.
The U.S. power grid is extremely vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Why is that so earth-shattering? Because, as reported by Cyber War April 12, both of those agencies said just three months ago that cyber-threats to our power grid were no big deal.
Apparently, they are.
This month, the FBI and DHS launched a nationwide program in which officials of both agencies are holding conferences with state and local power officials warning them of the dangers electric grids face from nation-state hackers in countries like Russia, China and North Korea.
The warnings come on the heels of a likely Russian state-sponsored hack of a Ukrainian power grid in December, an attack that surprised – and concerned – U.S. officials who are scrambling to shore up cyber defenses of American infrastructure.
In addition, NBC News reported earlier this month that search engines are being developed by hackers to identify poorly-protected IT systems, including those that control dams, power plants, financial centers and other vital infrastructure.
‘This stuff has been happening undetected for years’
Also in December, reports noted that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials detected an Iranian penetration of a small dam near New York City a few years ago, an intrusion that one official said may be “just the tip of the iceberg.”
But that hack, officials noted, signified a huge weakness in U.S. infrastructure – stadiums, dams, traffic controls and, of course, power grids – because they can be accessed by virtually anyone, anywhere, with the right training. And the NYC dam hack could also be why the FBI and DHS changed their tune about the grid’s vulnerability.
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The NYC dam also proved that infrastructure systems can be accessed with simple passwords, or worse, no passwords at all.
As NBC News reported further:
New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that the 2013 hack of the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook, N.Y., was a “frightening new frontier” of cybercrime that’s “scary to think about.” The lead investigator of the case said it was a “game changing event.” U.S. officials believe that hackers were probing for weaknesses in hopes of hitting bigger targets later.
U.S. authorities are obviously becoming increasingly concerned about such threats, because they are growing exponentially, and despite years of warnings that American infrastructure systems have been slow to adapt to them. This year, some 6.4 billion devices and control systems will be connected to the Internet, a 30-percent increase over last year, but by 2020, there will be 21 billion online.
“This stuff has been happening undetected for years, and now this is one of the first time that it’s surfaced publicly,” former FBI computer crime investigator, Mike Bazzell, told NBC News. “We’re getting close to a threshold where something must be done. The more this type of activity becomes popular and well-known, it will get worse before it gets better.”
Power-free food insurance
Are you prepared to heed the government’s warning? Can you live without electricity? How will you feed yourself?
For most Americans our food storage consists partly of canned and dry goods with a decent storage life, but so much of our fresh foods rely on a refrigerator, and even then, they’ll only stay fresh for a little while. As a result, there is a need for handy, portable food production systems that are decidedly low-tech and do not require electricity to work.
One such system is the Garden Tower, a vertical growing solution that allows you to grow a ton of fresh produce in a small amount of space. In fact, all you really need to begin growing your own food is table scraps.
Another is the Aquaponic System, which has just been released in version 2.0. This system, like the Garden Tower, was intentionally designed to operate without electricity. Using easy-to-follow instructions, you can begin growing real food almost immediately, and what’s more, you can continue to grow food all year long with both of these systems.
The federal government says it is becoming increasingly worried about cyber attacks against our power grid. Any large-scale event would draw an immediate response from our military, no doubt, but tens of millions of us would be left without power (and a functioning food logistical chain for grocery store restocking), for who knows how long. Getting some food insurance that doesn’t require power to grow now, is a smart idea.
by: J. D. Heyes, Natural News
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