The White House is closely monitoring our critical infrastructure after two Department of Homeland Security warnings last month about threats to our grid.
According to CBS, Ukrainians are facing the prospect of massive power outages, as Russian forces fight for control of areas that house vital parts of Ukraine’s electric grid. If Moscow shuts down the grid, millions could be left without light, heat, refrigeration, water, phones and internet. The White House is monitoring our own critical infrastructure after two Department of Homeland Security warnings last month about threats to our grid.
One noted Russia has proven its ability to use cyber attacks to shut down electric grids, and “compromised U.S. energy networks.” We’ve been looking at the grid for months and were surprised to learn how vulnerable it is, and how often it’s deliberately targeted. One attack, nine years ago, was a wake-up call for industry and government.
On the night of April 16, 2013, a mysterious incident south of San Jose marked the most serious attack on our power grid in history.
For 20 minutes, gunmen methodically fired at high voltage transformers at the Metcalf Power substation. Security cameras captured bullets hitting the chain link fence.
Jon Wellinghoff: They knew what they were doing. They had a specific objective. They wanted to knock out the substation.
At the time, Jon Wellinghoff was chairman of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a small government agency with jurisdiction over the U.S. high voltage transmission system.
Bill Whitaker: You were concerned enough that you flew out there?