Pentagon Researchers Test ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ Attack on U.S. Power Grid
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 7-day exercise that took place earlier this month saw over 100 cyber specialists gathering on Plumb Island, a federal research facility off of New York’s Long Island, to respond to a fictional cyber attack against the power grid. DARPA researchers were able to segregate the island from the rest of the city’s electric grid to make the exercise more realistic. This exercise marks the fourth (and largest) such exercise by DARPA’s Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization Systems program. Continued exercises for these scenarios are scheduled for every six months. The challenge for researchers has been to test, communicate and bypass infected portions of the grid without allowing connections to carry malware into researcher tools, or into parts of the grid that have been restored.