Cyberattacks seen as top threat to zap US power grid

Cyber attacks, pandemics and electromagnetic disturbances are the three top “high impact” risks to the U.S. and Canadian power-generation grids, according to a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).”The specific concern with respect to these threats is the targeting of multiple key nodes in the system, if damaged, destroyed or interrupted in a coordinated fashion, could bring the system outside the protection provided by traditional planning and operating criteria,” states the report, “High-Impact, Low-Frequency Risk to the North American Bulk Power System.” see:Defense Bill Includes Cybersecurity Legislation
An amendment to the Defense authorization bill, which the House passed Friday, would push through committee efforts to update information security requirements for agencies and establish a separate cybersecurity office in the White House, reported.The fiscal 2011 National Defense Authorization Act includes an amendment that would speed passage of existing measures from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to overhaul federal cybersecurity. overhaul stands a good shot at passage
Congress’ decision to include key cybersecurity provisions in the House and Senate Defense authorization bills increases their odds for passage, said one security expert, although amalgamating numerous pieces of cyber legislation could make establishing a final consensus a challenge.The House and Senate versions of the authorization bills include provisions that would bring significant change to existing cybersecurity policy, including mandates for agencies to monitor networks to assess cyber threats and incorporate security requirements into contracts from the start.

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