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U.S. policymakers mull smart grid cyber security measures

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, July 07, 2011

Over the past few years, there have been increasing calls for U.S. officials to improve smart grid cyber security measures. According to a published report, many utilities are furiously working to increase their cyber security protections as they fear their power supply networks are vulnerable to hacking attempts.

The Toronto Star reports that Central Intelligence Agency chief Leon Panetta has framed the next front in the U.S.' war against criminals as a "cyber Pearl Harbor." Hackers have become more sophisticated and brazen in their cyber security attacks, Panetta affirmed, and that has led many power generators to beef up their security protocols.

"The next Pearl Harbor that we confront could very well be a cyber attack that cripples" the U.S. power supply network, Panetta told senators during a hearing in Washington D.C. last month. "It's going to take both defensive measures and aggressive measures to deal with that."

Policymakers have begun to develop legislation that will require utilities to implement additional cyber security initiatives to protect their power supply networks, but many of those networks are already exceedingly vulnerable to attacks, industry analysts assert.

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