According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, a number of extremist groups in the country seem to be plotting the possibility of using an attack on the US power grid as a way to disrupt our daily lives.
The report, which is from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, shows that these extremist groups have “developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020.” It warns that the people behind the plan are looking at an attack against the power grid, which will ultimately affect more than 6400 power plans and approximately 450,000 miles of power transmission lines.
Those who have some expertise on the US power grid point out that it would be quite difficult to totally stop the nation’s power, but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try. It’s certainly possible that they could still do some damage, which could certainly cause injuries or worse.
HAcking the US Power Grid is Easier Than You Might Think
You might think that attacking the US power grid might not be an easy task, but this simply isn’t true. Recently, two hackers were easily able to get into the software that is responsible for most of the electrical grids in the world.
The good thing is that these were white hat hackers, AKA good guy hackers, and they did it at a conference in Miami in order to show that there were bugs in some software that could be targeted by the bad hackers. In other words, this was so easy for the hackers to do, it would be like child’s play for a cybercriminal.
In addition to these extremists who are seemingly planning an attack on US power grids, it’s also being reported that Russian hackers are interested in something similar. These hackers are not only looking at power grids, but also water systems, nuclear power plants, and more.
Many Threats are Coming In
Both the DHS and the FBI have states that over the past several months, there have been more threats against the country coming from extremists right here in the US. Thanks to a number of incidents over the past few years, the electric grid is seen as a target, and the goal is to cause disruptions to power.
When asked, Edison Electric Institute, which is a large association of power companies that offer electricity to approximately 70% of the people in the US, said that it is working with authorities to come up with a plan to respond to these plots.
What to Do in Case of a Disaster
If you find yourself in a situation like this, do you know what to do? Here are some tips:
- Have a good pair of shoes by your bed. You never know when “it” might hit the fan and barefoot in the cold/snow/hot/fire or on glass is not an option.
- Bug spray is underrated and should be in every go bag.
- A first aid kit should be available and easy to grab.
- Pack up a box with things like battery operated lights, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries, and a battery tester.
- Sterno stoves are also good to have, as they can warm up food.
- Have a bag of emergency food available, too, including canned foods and a manual can opener.
- If you live in a cold area, have items like scarves, gloves, hats, and thermal underwear.
- Have back up heat such as the Mr Heater that works on propane.
- Have the number of a contact person who doesn’t live in your local area who might be more prepared than you.
- Everyone in your household requires at least a gallon of water each day, which is water to drink, wash hands, cook, and clean yourself.
- Have a pack with items like trash bags, paper plates and towels, gloves, n95 masks, plastic utensils, and sanitizing wipes.
- Take photos of anything valuable in your home, which can be used in case you have to make an insurance claim.
- Have small bills to pay for stuff when the grid goes down.
- Bicycles don’t require gas or electricity. Have one for each person in your home.
- Make copies of all important documents, including things like passports, insurance paperwork, etc, and keep them in a fireproof safe. Then, send copies of these things to the person you have chosen as your non-local contact.
- Back up your computer data regularly and automatically.
- Be aware of the emergency plans of your neighbors, too. If they don’t have one, offer to help them create one.
- Know about any and all alternative routes out of your city, as a disaster could close certain roads.
- If you have one, keep a bicycle handy. You can use it for transportation if you can’t use a car.
- A Duel Fuel (propane and gasoline) backup generator is a good idea, too, as well as having extra gas to power it.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.