US Unveils Plan To Protect Power Grid From Foreign Hackers

The White House unveiled on Tuesday a 100-day plan intended to protect the U.S. power grid from cyber-attacks, mainly by creating a stronger relationship between U.S. national security agencies and the mostly private utilities that run the electrical system. From a report: The plan is among the first big steps toward fulfilling the Biden administration’s promise to urgently improve the country’s cyber defenses. The nation’s power system is both highly vulnerable to hacking and a target for nation-state adversaries looking to counter the U.S. advantage in conventional military and economic power. “The United States faces a well-documented and increasing cyber threat from malicious actors seeking to disrupt the electricity Americans rely on to power our homes and businesses,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. Although the plan is billed as a 100-day sprint — which includes a series of consultations between utilities and the government — it will likely take years to fully implement, experts say. It will ask utilities to pay for and install technology to better detect hacks of the specialized computers that run the country’s power systems, known as industrial control systems. The Edison Electric Institute, the trade group that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, praised the White House plan and the Biden administration’s focus on cybersecurity. “Given the sophisticated and constantly changing threats posed by adversaries, America’s electric companies remain focused on securing the industrial control systems that operate the North American energy grid,” said EEI president Tom Kuhn.