Smart grids: the next target for cyber-terrorists?
SAN ANTONIO-There’s a new frontier in the fight against terrorism-happening right here in San Antonio. Experts say as our power grid becomes smarter, it also becomes more vulnerable.
Our grid is responsible for nearly everything you and i use in our daily lives that involves energy. That’s why our power grids are about to become a whole lot smarter.
“So our involvement as consumers signifies the start of smart grids.”
That’s Ahmad Taha Ph.D., an assistant professor at UTSA
“In the smarter grid you would start getting price signals every few minutes of the price of energy that you’re consuming.”
You’ll know instantly what you’re using and how much it’ll cost, all thanks to Wi-Fi. Access to this valuable information opens up a backdoor for cyber terrorists, to hit the lights.
“Oh people go crazy when a blackout happens,” Taha says.
Small scale, a cyber-attack on the smart grid could make something like your power bill skyrocket, but on the large scale, it could shut down transportation or even commerce.
“A cyber attacker would want to alter the grid in a way to lead to a significant blackout which would have drastic negative consequences on the economy,” Taha says.
Taha just received a grant worth 30 grand from the Department of Energy, after he created a formula to mitigate a simulated attack on a grid in under two seconds.
“This is a defense mechanism to prevent blackouts.”