RealNews

IT security in energy sector under scrutiny

As the blame game continues surrounding last Thursday’s regional blackout, Congress is planning a series of hearings not only to find out what caused the cascading power failure but also to examine a pressing security issue that experts have been warning of for years: the power grid’s vulnerability to intentional cyber-based disruptions. During the first week in September, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce plans to hold hearings into the massive power failure that struck the Northeast and parts of Canada to determine the likely causes and what can be done to prevent future failures. In a letter, committee Chairman W.J. “Billy” Tauzin (R-La.) requested information on the blackout from all of the utility companies and various industry councils affected. In addition, officials from the House Committee on Government Reform want to study the security of the national power grid’s cyber-based control systems. The concern is that an equally devastating series of failures could be triggered by relatively minor disruptions to the control systems that manage the power grid, a Capitol Hill source said. Full Story

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