Buffalo, NY - We all know how a massive power outage like the October storm can affect our lives. But what if the cause was not mother nature and was a terror attack.
You would not know it because the power is still on. Buta major simulated attack on the power grid that causes amassivepower outagehas been going on over the past two days. Both NYSEG and National Grid and other power companies around the country are working with federal and state agenciesto see what they would do in the event of a cyber or physical attack on power facilities.
This drill is based on the very real concern that someone could hack the power grid and cause widespread chaos. As it turns out, UB students at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are being trained to counter that cyber threat and protect these types of systems with an awareness that they are vulnerable.
UB Professor Shambu Upadhyayasays "If you are able to break into the cyber - domain, then you have full control of the program so you can set them up to for example blow the transformers. That's quite possible."
Dick Marion of NYSEG also points out"In today's post 9/11 world I think it's always good to be prepared. It doesn't take much to look at the headlines and see all of the activity across the world. And you know under the category of to be forewarned is to be forearmed."
The hope is that drills like this one called Grid Ex - 2 can help the utility companies upgrade their security. It also helps Homeland Security agencies like the FBI to better understand the required response to such an attack.