Attacks Shut Down American Power Grid ... In Massive War Game

Matthew L. Wald reports on the massive cyber war game called GridEx II that simulated a coordinated assault on America's power grid this week.
November 16, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In windowless rooms from [Washington D.C.] to California, nearly 10,000 electrical engineers, cybersecurity specialists, utility executives and F.B.I. agents furiously grappled over 48 hours with an unseen 'enemy' who tried to turn out the lights across America," writes Wald. "By late Thursday morning, in this unprecedented continental-scale war game to determine how prepared the nation is for a cyberattack, tens of millions of Americans were in simulated darkness. Hundreds of transmission lines and transformers were declared damaged or destroyed, and the engineers were rushing to assess computers that were, for the purposes of the drill, tearing their system apart."

Though participants were reluctant to discuss some of the details of the simulation and the final evaluation won't be known for weeks, the president and chief executive of the company that ran the drill was happy with the results. “It’s going really well,” said Gerry W. Cauley, of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. “A bit scary, but really well.”

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Published on Thursday, November 14, 2013 in The New York Times
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