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NATO's Achilles' Heel: Power Grids

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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NATO's Achilles' Heel: Power Grids

NATO_train_large.jpg

U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tanks arrive at the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

1/8/19
NATO leaders spent much of the last year trying to improve the mobility of Alliance forces across the European continent. While the elimination of logistical barriers between allies is an important first step, arguably too little attention was paid toward the cyber resilience of the transport infrastructure itself. A single cyberattack against the central power grid of a NATO country would seriously impair the Alliance’s capacity to respond to a crisis—undoing all the hard work NATO leaders have put into mobility.
The rapid digitization of power grids across Europe has proven to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, growing reliance on the Internet of Things and industrial control systems has allowed companies to cut operational costs and boost efficiency. On the other hand, digitization has made companies more vulnerable to cyber threats, as most of the “smart” systems were built with performance and not security in mind. A number of major cyberattacks against power grids have exposed the magnitude of these vulnerabilities. In 2015, a hacker group attacked the industrial control systems of an electrical grid in Ukraine, which left more than 230,000 residents in the dark for up to six hours. A year later, another cyberattack successfully compromised the Ukrainian power grid, took control of some of its industrial control systems, and cut a fifth of Kyiv’s power for about an hour.

To mitigate the threats cyberattacks pose to power grids, both national governments and private companies need to join forces and build public-private-partnerships to address the cyber dimension of energy security. While most energy and cyber networks are in private hands, governments could still provide support by developing cyber resilience strategies or voluntary cyber security standards for critical infrastructure owners and operators. Given their near-total reliance on the private sector, militaries, too, need to develop a greater interest in the cyber resilience of power grids. Unlike during the Cold War, when the bulk of critical infrastructure was in public hands, today around 90 percent of NATO’s supplies and logistics are moved by private companies. Therefore, the robustness of the Alliance’s deterrence and defense posture, by and large, depends upon an uninterrupted flow of electricity. If the central power grid of a NATO country was taken offline by a cyberattack during a political crisis, it could have dire consequences for the Alliance. In the event of a blackout, airports, railways, and ports would be either severely impaired or completely crippled, meaning the cavalry will not just arrive too late, it might not arrive at all.

I assume China is also in this class, but I know that Russia has perfected taking down electric grids via their RL exercises in Ukraine. They are also adept at taking down the banking infrastructure.
 

DaveFagan

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Gosh, NATO is weaponized and Western Banking is weaponized. Why would these be targets? Common sense.
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