NSA Director Confirms: Entire U.S. Power Grid could be Shut down by Single Cyber Attack

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.

14 Comments

  1. CM Dutch
    November 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Why now (just after the election) and why has it not been fixed since they knew about for sometime depending on what’s your source. WARNING! Incoming FALSE FLAG in …

    • GenEarly
      November 21, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Grid down warnings from former CIA Director Woosley have been on you tube quite awhile. Even Woffey Blitzer on CNN is alarmed! OMG!!!

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/politics/nsa-china-power-grid/index.html

      I wouldn’t prepare for a “false” flag however, the Russians are mad as hell at the obama ussa, and the Chinese are patiently biding their time for an opportune non-traditional attack either financial or grid are obvious choices.
      When the grid goes, It will be for real, imo.

  2. charles
    November 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Food stamp use is now highest among working Americans. Doesn’t sound like takers to me.

  3. lucianx73
    November 20, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Not a big deal

    • GenEarly
      November 21, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Nooo, comrade, the stinkin electricity is no big deal, besides it pollutes anyway from coal generating power plants.Al gore has enough hot air for all the profreSSives.

  4. Snake Plisken
    November 21, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I reckon I don’t have to worry about an EMP now. It’s just too easy for a brilliant hacker from another country to flip the switch on our water and power grids. Think on it…..no missle to prep and launch and virtually no way to track who the cyber attack came from. And inexpensive too.

    Just thinking out of the box here but black mail crosses my mind. What if the Chinese shut off our nat gas supply for a week? They could pretty much ask for anything from us because there would be an uproar amongst the citizens for the guvment to DO SOMETHING!

    Or, if we partner up with Israel to attack Iran’s nuke program Russia might cyber attack our grid and throw us into chaos.

    Or maybe Kim Jung Il will wake up with a hard on to teach the Great Satan a lesson before Obama ends his tenure in the WH because he knows that Obie won’t retaliate in any fashion. Well, Obie might get pissed if his Blackberry is down and he’ll do a stompy feet tantrum but that’s about it.

    The only upside I see to a grid down cyber attack is that the UN in NYC will be suffering along with the rest of us in third world conditions. Oh, wait a minute, most of the UN folks ARE from 3rd world countries. It would be like a vacation back to the homeland for them! :)

    The NSA dude says that 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead within a year. That would be true of the urban population I guess. Not so much so in semi rural and rural areas where industrious and resourceful people live closer to the land than our urban kin folks. I would hazard an educated guess that 6 in 10 of us flyover folks would survive the first year. We would be a lot more thin than we are now. I know I need to lose another 15 lbs to attain the perfect weight for my height and size ( 6’3″ and 195 lbs.) so perhaps a grid down event could be my way to lose the extra pounds.;)

    Either way, it’s mind boggling how vulnerable we are to cyber attacks and how easy it would be for a team of dedicated hackers to take down our grid. Having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar that we are doing the same type of electronic infiltration to our enemies. Remember the Suxtnet electronic attack on Iran’s nuke program a few years back? The program spun up Iran’s ( autoclaves? ) uranium enrichment program and most of them were severely damaged due to the speeds they were rotating at. Set back their nuke program by a year. There are only two players who could have pulled that off and it was the USA or Israel.

    If a grid hack does happen I’m pretty sure the utilities will be working double time to get water, gas and electrical systems back as soon as humanly possible.

    The question is: do you have enough water and food to keep your family alive and healthy from the cyber attack to the restoration of the grid? How about heat? Living in the North Coast are of the USA ( Great Lakes region) with wicked cold winters, have you planned how to handle a grid down to keep yourself and family warm enough to survive until spring?

    Don’t know about the rest of you but I have enough gasoline to run the gennie an hour or two a day to last 2 months. Plenty of candles and kerosene lamps and oil for 3 months and enough food for me and the dog to last 6 months.

    We might not ever have jet liners flying into our buildings again because our soft underbelly of utilities are just too easy to cripple.

    Best to you all!

    Snake Plisken

    • justin
      November 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Best comment I’ve ever seen

    • Moman
      November 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      love the end name, escape from L.A. lately?

      anyway some valid points to consider.

  5. pantsupdontloot
    November 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Don’t even think about the grid coming back up if it goes down nationwide. There is something that all of you need to understand, rather you can accept it or not is immaterial, just understand it. We spend more on our military than the rest of the world’s military budgets combined. Yet, an underworked over paid Admiral stands before congress and complains that he can’t protect our powergrid. The answer: just give the military more money. That is all this crap ever boils down to, is give the military more money to create more problems. Damn me if you want to, but if you love being in the dark: thank a vet! If you love your national debt: thank a vet. Pitiful situation indeed.

    • Sussex Girl
      November 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Whoa, Buddy. Don’t even know where to start. First, neither the admiral, nor the whole military complex, for that matter, is in charge of protecting the grid. That’s up to the state and federal governments and the utility companies. Second, the vets, the men and women who gave their time and limbs and lives to protect your freedom, aren’t responsible for the debt. Don’t ever get that part wrong.

    • mark haney
      November 26, 2014 at 1:43 am

      on September 10th 2001 Donald rumsfeild gave a speech telling his audience that the pentagon couldn’t account for almost $3 billion on September 11th 2001 a supposed 157 ft wingspan plane flew through a 75 ft hole disintegrating every part of the plane but left paper computers and such untouched on the sides of the hole. the portion of the building hit was the offices of the people trying to figure out where the money went. do you think they need more money?

  6. Gray Fox 114
    November 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Does ANYONE reading this site remember the GRID X drills run a short time ago by FEMA/DHS et al? The Chines and the Russians were allowed to participate, the exercise was to test the vulnerability of the grid to a cyber attack! WTF! We are so owned and being so set up to enter the Agenda 21 years, NWO, one world gov’t! And our “guvmint,” ovomit and crew, are lighting the way!

  7. MoonDoggie
    November 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I get the concern here and obviously think it should be treated seriously, but I have to wonder what the outcome would be if it were to actually happen.

    Unless they have the ability to cause the equipment to physically damage itself (ala StuxNet), then I would think a simple re-install and configuration of the software would bring the plant back online. Yes, it would be dow for a day or two, but not permanently. I also have to think those plants have the ability to run manually, without an Internet connection. Because, let’s face it, if they HAVE to have an Internet connection to operate at all, we’d be without power a lot more often, given the reliability of an Internet connection. I get it for control and management, but not for continuing ops. I would think if this event happened, they’d simply kill the Internet, reinstall, reconfig, and run on manual until a solution was found. Again, with the caveat that permanent damage didn’t occur.

    I don’t know enough about the actual grid and if its software could be altered to cause permanent physical damage to the equipment or not. Would love an informed response on that one.

  8. Moman
    November 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    there is a Nat Geo special on a cyber attack on the grid, been around for a few years.

    if they attack the grid, it is not as simple as you say, transformers will LITERALLY EXPLODE and we do not have enough to replace them all nationwide.

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