Possibly in response to a Wall Street Journal article reporting that cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) issued a statement today.
NERC said it is not aware of any reports of cyber attacks that have directly affected the reliability of the power system, but the industry is always working to stay ahead of such threats.
“Cyber security is an area of concern for the electric grid," the statement said. "There is definitely more to be done, and we look forward to continuing our work with the electric industry and our partners in U.S. and Canadian government to improve reliability standards, ensure appropriate emergency authority is in place to address imminent and specific cyber security threats, and ultimately ensure a safe, secure, and reliable energy future for North America.”
The WSJ article reported that the Chinese and Russians had attempted to map the U.S. infrastructure, such as the electrical grid, but the source was "a senior intelligence official."
Potential threats always exist for the electrical grid. In an article from T&D World's enewsletter, Etrain, POWER Engineers cyber security specialist Albert Carlson said, "Part of being a security professional is that you see reports about all the attacks that occur almost daily. Most people only see what happens in their companies and that happens once in a blue moon. But when they get hit, the damage can be extensive.”
FOX News reported that it had confirmed that the United States had uncovered evidence that cyberspies had penetrated the power grid and left behind software. According to FOXNews.com, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro released a wirtten statement that President Obama takes the issue of cyber security very seriously, but was not aware of any such disruptions to the power grid.