Ted koppel has written a book about a cyber attack on the nations electrical grid. I got an advanced reader's copy, and it is really eye opening. I'll share some of the major points, and here is a link to a recent tv appearance:http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/lights-out-ted-koppel-on-electric-grid-cyber-threats/
There is an assumption that the city, state, or federal government has a contigency plan for the grid going down. Sorry folks, you are on your own.
There are three grids that generate and distribute power throughout the country. Interrupting any one of those would cause millions to be in the dark.
The US, with the help of Israel, was the first nation to use a cyber attack as a weapon of policy..against Iran's nuclear centrifuges. They appeared to be operating normally to the techs watching them, but they were literally tearing themselves apart. The same would happen with an attack on the grid. Everything would look normal until it was way to late.
The federal agencies equipped to monitor the grid for cyber attack can't because privacy laws prohibit them from doing so.
Adhering to power industry standards is entirely voluntary.
Banks spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on security, but still get hacked.
Studies show that it took an average of almost 300 days before companies that had been breached ever learned about it.
Large power transformers are huge, expensive, custom built, and, for the most part, not inter-changeable. Most are built overseas, and take at least 6 months to build. Only the very largest companies have spares.
It's estimated that it would cost $2 billion to start to secure the existing grid. Conservative estimates put the cost of the Afghan and Iraq wars at over $1 trillion.
The mormons are perhaps the best prepared of all groups to ride out a major power grid failure.
That is a quick synopsis of the first half of the book.
If this is something that is high on your list of possible scenarios to plan for, this is a must read. Hopefully this will start a national discusion.
Please, without getting political, share your thoughts after you read the book.