RealNews

US Energy Network Seen as Vulnerable to Hackers

The US energy network could be vulnerable to a hacker attack through its interlinked computer systems, causing heavy damage to the already weak economy, government and industry experts said on Wednesday. “The whole energy system is being run on a cyber system,” Abbie Layne, project manager at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, told an electricity industry conference in Houston. “You can do a lot of damage just through a quick strong strike to that cyber system,” she said. A successful attack on computer networks that support the electricity system could have devastating economic impact if a “cascading” shutdown hobbled the grid of power lines, possibly shutting off the lights in a region. “If we lose this infrastructure…we could have a lot of damage to our economy,” Layne said. Energy industry experts believe that while a threat to oil tankers, pipelines or power plants remains a frightening prospect, there is no evidence those sites have been targeted. Full Story

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