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Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week ordered the power industry to identify critical facilities and come up with a plan to protect them from attack.
As the electricity network has become increasingly dependent on software and the Internet, the utility industry has focused on combating potential cyber attacks. Regulators are now trying to find the best way to guard against all threats to the generators, transformers and thousands of miles of high-voltage power lines that make up the U.S. Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff for years has warned that the grid’s most critical components, such as transformers that adjust electrical voltage, are vulnerable and could be better protected with relatively simple measures, like improved fencing.
An attack knocking out major critical components “would result in catastrophic failure, potentially, of the interconnect,” Wellinghoff said by phone. Wellinghoff said he also favors measures to prevent cyber attacks and other threats, and supports the FERC’s March 7 order.
NERC Chief Executive Officer Gerry Cauley said he shares Norris’s concerns about overreaction to the California attack, while other incidents, from ice storms to potential cyber attacks also pose threats, and utilities will eventually pass along many costs to consumers.
Cauley said utilities can increase physical security by improving existing protections like lighting, cameras, surveillance equipment and key-card access at substations. FERC StepsAfter rifle-toting attackers shot up PG&E’s Metcalf substation near San Jose on April 16, the FERC provided the industry with a list of steps to improve security at substations, said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, a Washington-based industry group for publicly traded utilities including Duke Energy Corp.
Disabling as few as nine electricity substations and destroying a transformer manufacturer could plunge the nation into a blackout that would last for 18 months, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing an internal FERC report.
Executives from the power industry in recent months have met at least 10 times with officials from the U.S.
He said safety measures include outfitting grid components with additional security technologies and establishing closer ties with local police.

Dominion’s PlanDominion Resources Inc., Virginia’s largest power company, said it plans to spend as much as $500 million during the next five to 10 years to improve physical security at its power stations. Ultimately, the steps industry and regulators take to guard against physical attacks will be a balancing act between securing the grid and shielding consumers from high costs. According to Wellinghoff, there are probably fewer than 100 power substations, primarily in rural areas, that are most critical to the network and may need heightened protection. A recent report by Mandiant, a cyber-security firm, found that hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government were able to penetrate American public utility systems that service everything from power generation, to the movement of water and fuel across the country. Admiral Rogers declined to identify who the other countries, beside China, because of the classified nature of their identities.
The testimony also comes in the wake of a report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that cited a prediction by technology experts that a catastrophic cyber-attack that causes significant losses in life and financial damage would occur by 2025. In addition to the threats from specific nation-states, Admiral Rogers said there are already groups within the U.S. Our range of products include a classifieds addon, an sticky threads mod, a usergroup color legend addon and a reviews mod. The April attack at PG&E’s Metcalf substation near San Jose resurrected a 20th century threat -- an old-fashioned, military-style assault on the power network.
It requires the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a non-profit organization responsible for ensuring the reliability of the grid, to produce by June standards to guard against physical attacks. The California incident showed that companies need to be concerned about the line-of-sight for potential shooters, he said. Energy Department, Homeland Security Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law-enforcement agencies to discuss improving security at electric substations, Kuhn told editors and reporters at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters last month. In November, more than 2,000 representatives from utilities and government agencies participated in a NERC-run, grid-security exercise.

While the April attack disabled transformers at the substation, the company was able to prevent customers from losing power, he said. Pepco has in place multiple layers of protections for its network, she said, while declining to say what steps the company has taken for security reasons. The upgrades include two layers of perimeter security, fences that can’t be climbed and card-key access for its substation yards, the company said in a publication for investors this month.
The FERC must approve rate changes resulting from investments to the generators and high-voltage power lines that make up the bulk-electric network.
While costs would vary among substations, the expense would be minimal if spread among taxpayers, he said.
Cyber Command, said the United States has detected malware from China and elsewhere on U.S. With well supported products, OzzModz products will enhance your sites in ways you didn't think possible.
Advanced technologies can also make better use of data to improve awareness of incidents affecting the grid, he said. The standards should require utilities to identify their most critical components and show that they’re adequately protected.
The utility has since worked with law enforcement to increase patrols and deployed security guards to provide a round-the-clock presence at critical units, Swanson said. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 section 106A-117 of the Copyright Law.

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