Monday, September 14, 2009

Finally! Smart Grid development will get a high priority on cybersecurity.

Security is a top concern with smart electric grid

Security specialists are working to make sure the Obama administration's plans to develop a smart electric grid that relies on the Internet to supply and monitor power across the country will include security standards for reducing vulnerabilities to cyberattack.

President Obama spoke about "building a smart electric grid to deliver energy more efficiently" in his remarks on Friday about securing the nation's cyber infrastructure, noting that "protecting the [digital] infrastructure will be a national security priority." Nearly $3.3 billion will be invested in smart grid technology development grants and $615 million technology testing as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A smart grid would rely on real-time, two-way communication to allow power customers to connect directly with electricity suppliers. A report from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, created by information and communications companies to foster economic growth through technology, said, "A smart grid would work the same way that the Internet does. The difference is that while the Internet optimizes the routing of information, the smart grid optimizes the routing of electrons."

Interesting and highlighting part from the news:

"Smart grid development will require a high priority on cybersecurity to ensure hackers don't access the computer systems that control the power grid through the Internet and cause service outages or worse. The threat against the nation's power grid was first widely realized in March 2007, when researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory demonstrated to the Homeland Security Department how they could go online to hack into the programs that control a generator and manipulate settings so it would self-destruct. In April, sources from the intelligence community revealed that spies from China, Russia and other countries had penetrated computers that control the nation's power grid."

Please refer here to read more details.

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