Biden Rushes To Protect the Power Grid as Hacking Threats Grow

A White House plan to rapidly shore up the security of the U.S. power grid will begin with a 100-day sprint, but take years more to transform utilities’ ability to fight off hackers, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing a draft version of the plan confirmed by two people. From the report: The plan is the policy equivalent of a high-wire act: it provides incentives for electric companies to dramatically change the way they protect themselves against cyber-attacks while trying to avoid political tripwires that have stalled previous efforts, the details suggest. Among its core tenets, the Biden administration’s so-called “action plan” will incentivize power utilities to install sophisticated new monitoring equipment to more quickly detect hackers, and to share that information widely with the U.S. government. It will ask utilities to identify critical sites which, if attacked, could have an outsized impact across the grid, according to a six-page draft of the plan, which was drawn up by the National Security Council and described in detail to Bloomberg News. And it will expand a partially classified Energy Department program to identify flaws in grid components that could be exploited by the country’s cyber-adversaries, including Russia, Iran and China.