It’s something that has been talked about for years, but up until this point nobody in the federal government would confirm it; until now.
Speaking at a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Admiral Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S .Cyber Command, admitted that China, and a handful of other countries currently possess the power to launch a cyber attack that would shut down the entire U.S. power grid.
At the hearing, Rogers said U.S. adversaries are performing electronic “reconnaissance” on a regular basis so that they can be in a position to disrupt the industrial control systems that run everything from chemical facilities to water treatment plants.
“All of that leads me to believe it is only a matter of when, not if, we are going to see something dramatic,” he said.
This comes weeks after the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that Russian hackers had successfully penetrated, and inserted malware into some of the nation’s most vital infrastructure systems.
The Malware, which experts say has the power to trigger the shutdown of vital public utilities throughout the country, was found in software used to control industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants.
The Coming Cyber Wars that Could Shut Down Everything
The threat has actually been known for some time, this is just the first time someone at this level is actually admitting there’s a problem.
In 2013, two engineers discovered a major vulnerability in the Industrial Control Systems that control our power grid, a flaw that allows hackers to take control of the entire U.S. power grid.
During the course of testing, the engineers found they could penetrate and shutdown almost every major Industrial Control System they tested. This would give hackers direct access to control everything from our communication infrastructure, to our drinking water and our electric power grid.
The two compiled a 20-page report detailing the vulnerabilities they found for the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team. The report was used in a massive cyber drill that simulated the take down of the entire U.S. power grid.
Is the Obama Administration Preparing for a Coming Cyber War?
In his testimony, Rogers admitted the Obama administration was in the process of outlining our military cyber operation’s rules of engagement.
“We need to define what would be offensive, what’s an act of war,” he said.
With people like former CIA Bureau Chief Claire Lopez warning, “9 out of 10 of all Americans would be dead,” within a year after this type of attack, the threat is something we can’t afford to ignore. This country can barely manage a small-scale disaster – just look at what happened during Hurricane Sandy, or the recent Ebola Crisis – what do you think will happen if someone shuts down the entire power grid?
All Hell is going to Break Loose!
America was founded on a spirit of self-reliance and freedom, sadly somewhere along the way the country lost its way. Over the last couple of decades that spirit of self-reliance has all but faded away, replaced by a country full of takers who only exist because they constantly suck off the system.
While this may sound a little harsh, it’s the truth, and sugar coating the sad reality of the situation does nothing to help prepare us for what I believe is coming – the eventual downfall and collapse of the entire system.
Whether it’s a cyber-attack that plunges us into the abyss, or the 18 trillion dollars in debt that eventually pushes us over the edge, the need to prepare should be more than obvious at this point.