Cyber-Hackers, EMP Attacks, and Solar Storms Could ‘Annihilate Our Electric System,’ Say Experts

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Lawmakers like Sen. Bob Hall (R-TX) also worry that means hackers could be just a few keystrokes away from turning the lights out in cities around our country. “We are certainly vulnerable across the board to natural and man-made threats to our electrical grid system that could render it unrepairable in our lifetime,” Hall told CBN News. Hall said he’s especially concerned about an Electronic Magnetic Pulse or EMP attack against the grid.

From natural phenomena to cyberattacks like the massive SolarWinds operation and recent attack on the Colonial Gas Pipeline, security experts warn it’s clear that most businesses and key infrastructure like power grids across this country are woefully unprepared to meet such threats. “They went after our gas and they went after our hot dogs. No one is out of bounds here. Everyone is in play here,” warned Christopher Krebs, former director of cybersecurity at Department of Homeland Security

“It entails simply one small nuclear weapon being detonated above the central part of the United States, over Nebraska, Kansas area that would create a pulse from coast to coast, from border to border, that would totally annihilate our electric system,” he explained. Dr. Peter Pry, a former CIA intelligence officer, sits on the Department of Homeland Security’s EMP Task Force. He released a report this week concluding that North Korea is now in possession of EMP weapons so strong that no electric grid could survive such an attack.

“North Korea almost certainly has developed super EMP weapons,” Pry told CBN News. “These are nuclear weapons that are specialized to produce extraordinarily powerful electromagnetic pulse effects and it would make it, along with Russia and China, one of the few nations in the world that has these weapons.” San Antonio, Texas is leading the nation’s efforts to defend against such electromagnetic threats.

In collaboration with the Air Force’s Joint Base San Antonio, Ret. Brig. Gen. Guy Walsh, along with teams of researchers, scientists, and security experts are studying grid vulnerabilities and deploying measures to protect them from getting fried. For obvious security reasons Walsh won’t divulge specifics, but he says their goal is “to really look across the board at training, education and the technologies that are going to help make the electrical grid both resilient to attack but also able to recover more quickly,” Walsh told CBN News. Meanwhile, grid operators in some regions of the country are also heeding warnings to prepare for solar storms and sunspots blasting particles into space called Coronal Mass Ejections or CME.

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