After Russian Hack, Officials Panic About Vulnerable U.S. Electric Grid

LYNDHURST, NJ - NOVEMBER 4: Train tracks lead to New York City as the sun rises behind lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center on November 4, 2017, as seen from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
Gary Hershorn/Corbis News

After Russians successfully hacked into the United States’ electric utilities, giving them the power to trigger catastrophic blackouts throughout the country, officials are sounding the alarm and prepping punishments in case it happens again.

According to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report, in June, a group of presidential advisers warned that the U.S. should be stockpiling resources to prevent “mass migrations” in the case of a nationwide blackout caused by foreign hackers.

The privately-owned utility companies that run the three big electrical grids in the U.S. have reportedly said that they desperately need help from the federal government and the military to protect the technology.

Per the Wall Street Journal, punishments being discussed for those who hack U.S. utilities include indicting the known attackers, seeking help from other countries to find and arrest them and seizing their assets and sanctions.

Russians have used electricity blackouts as weapons before, against Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.

“We should be thinking about how we sustain society after a huge power outage,” said Terry Boston, a member of the President’s infrastructure council.

Read the rest of the report here.

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