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Government officials respond to attack on electrical grid infrastructure

After a report earlier in the month indicated foreign hackers successfully infiltrated the U.S. power grid infrastructure, government officials immediately started working on legislation aimed at reducing the possibility of a similar incident in the future.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) and Rep Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) officially introduced the Critical Electric Infrastructure Protection Act, which has been written to help create guidelines to bolster the government's readiness for possible cyberattacks.  Lieberman currently heads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, while Thompson is the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.

"Any failure of our electric grid, whether intentional or unintentional, would have a significant and potentially devastating impact on our nation," Thompson said in a statement.  "We must ensure that the proper protections, resources and regulatory authorities are in place to address any threat aimed at our power system."

If a cyberthreat against the infrastructure is perceived to be legitimate, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will have the ability to hand out orders and modify rules, the bill said.  FERC could force critical facilities to change passwords, lock down systems, or do anything else it perceives as a necessary step.

"This legislation addresses these critical issues by providing a common sense approach to ensure continued security of the nation's electric infrastructure."

As the threat of cyber attacks continues to grow at an alarming rate, the report linked to earlier indicates cyber attackers from Russia and China targeted the U.S. electrical grid -- malware tools were installed in case they wanted to shut the network down later.  Even more troubling, according to security experts, was the ease in which hackers were able to gain entry into the network.

The U.S. grid control systems are electronically probed for weaknesses a large number of times by foreign hackers, though there weren't any previous confirmed accounts of actual infiltration, according to the Defense Science Board.

The overall possibility of a crippling cyber attack has led to computer security companies working with government agencies on protecting vital assets. 



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RE: government's answer....
By FITCamaro on 4/30/2009 9:23:46 AM , Rating: 0
I thought government was the answer to all our problems? That's what the messiah told us.


RE: government's answer....
By Moishe on 4/30/2009 9:42:03 AM , Rating: 1
As you well know... :) Government is inefficient at most things. The bureaucracy created causes everything to be far more expensive and unwieldy than most things created by private industry.

But you're right, Obama has pretty much said in word and deed that government is the solution. Unfortunately, he is dead wrong, and in the long run, we'll pay (dearly) for the actions the government are now taking.


RE: government's answer....
By reader1 on 4/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: government's answer....
By BadAcid on 4/30/2009 10:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
When did he say he didn't like this country? Having the people be critical of government is, imo, essential to a functioning democracy, and the ability to be so critical is part of what makes this country great.


RE: government's answer....
By reader1 on 4/30/2009 11:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
He hates America. He's a traitor. I'm forwarding his comments to the FBI now.


RE: government's answer....
By frobizzle on 4/30/2009 11:27:20 AM , Rating: 3
Dude, I think the foil cap is on a bit too tightly! Try not using duct tape to hold it in place!


RE: government's answer....
By callmeroy on 4/30/2009 10:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nobody's forcing you to live here. If you don't love this great country, leave.


Sadly its exactly the jump the gun conclusions and accusations mixed with poor attitude like the quote above that is part of the problem today, since a lot of younger people think that same way.

The guy said NOTHING about hating the country --- reading comprehension FTW....

Nothing wrong with questioning your government, after all they affect what you can and can't do and you PAY THEM for that too....

The ones that are insane are the ones who question nothing...


RE: government's answer....
By ryandmiller1 on 4/30/2009 1:58:45 PM , Rating: 1
I believe this is called an ad hominem


RE: government's answer....
By Drexial on 4/30/2009 9:42:22 AM , Rating: 5
*face palms* yes and an old rich white guy told us to trust our security in the governments hands too. This messiah shit is getting old. Just because some of his voters are nuts and think he is the next Jesus, doesn't mean he thinks he is. Christ bush said he was doing gods work....

I don't trust O'bama any more then I trusted bush. But if you have problem with the government then put up or shut up. Stop going into every article and constantly toting your ability to be an armchair expert on everything. You are just as bad as the Starbucks drinking hipsters that think they have the answer to everything. But just sit on their ass drinking corporate jesus juice, because to actually make a difference would take too much time out of their indie movie screenings.

Stop scapegoating it as "The Government" and start taking responsibility for it as your government.


RE: government's answer....
By ebakke on 4/30/2009 10:51:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stop scapegoating it as "The Government" and start taking responsibility for it as your government.
Quite a scathing post when you have absolutely no idea what actions (if any) the previous poster does to a "take responsibility" for his government. For all you know he may hold public office, organize like-minded individuals, or otherwise try to influence his government. Your post came across a lot like "he's a douche bag because I don't agree with him".


RE: government's answer....
By foolsgambit11 on 4/30/2009 11:57:06 AM , Rating: 2
And your post comes across as reaching to defend him at all costs because you agree with him.

From what I gathered, this article shouldn't raise a debate over big versus small government at all. The government isn't expanding its sphere. This isn't a case of "more laws", this is a law change which actually should reduce the amount of regulation involved in operating the grid by giving senior security managers greater discretion to tailor the response to the threat.

Grid security is a necessary role of government - hopefully we all agree that the government should protect vital infrastructure from attack. Given that, you can administer that role either by legislating procedures for every contingency, or by giving discretion to a bureaucrat (who hopefully will make his decisions based on expert advice), or a combination of both tactics. I personally think the combination method has the most benefits. Over-legislation risks the security apparatus not being able to respond dynamically enough. Relying on a bureaucrat's discretion risks an incompetent person failing to respond adequately to a threat. Balancing both tactics (done right) minimizes the downsides of each strategy (and done wrong it minimizes the strengths of each strategy).

This bill seems to be trying to balance regulation and initiative, although how well it does it I can't say. But it is not making government or bureaucracy larger (unless national security demands it) - it's just trying to make them better.


RE: government's answer....
By ebakke on 4/30/2009 1:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And your post comes across as reaching to defend him at all costs because you agree with him.
I'm defending no one. FIT may be a douche who's spewing hate for no reason. He may be an outstanding citizen with a reason to gripe. Most likely, he's somewhere in the middle. I'm simply saying it's not fair to jump to a conclusion with partial information, and then chastise someone based on that conclusion.

On the actual topic of the article - couldn't agree with you more.


RE: government's answer....
By mdogs444 on 4/30/2009 12:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This messiah shit is getting old. Just because some of his voters are nuts and think he is the next Jesus, doesn't mean he thinks he is.

On the contrary. He thinks he is....he told Harry Reid so. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090427/ap_on_go_pr_wh...

quote:
But if you have problem with the government then put up or shut up.

Speaking your mind against the government when you don't agree with them.......that's not "putting up"?

quote:
"The Government" and start taking responsibility for it as your government.

Hard to do when the politicians pay groups like Acorn to commit voter fraud and cancel out my vote. (Columbus, OH - look it up)


RE: government's answer....
By Drexial on 4/30/2009 1:48:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
On the contrary. He thinks he is....he told Harry Reid so. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090427/ap_on_go_pr_wh...


He told Harry Reid he was a gifted speaker, that's the same thing as saying jimmy page was a gifted guitarist. Your retort is invalid.

quote:
Speaking your mind against the government when you don't agree with them.......that's not "putting up"?


Telling some strangers on an internet forum "that the messiah will save you" is not speaking out against the government. Its useless trolling. Telling any stranger on the internet that stuff sucks is like telling someone water is wet. Everyone on the internet has to bitch about something. Government officials aren't threatened by chat blogs.

quote:
Hard to do when the politicians pay groups like Acorn to commit voter fraud and cancel out my vote. (Columbus, OH - look it up)


Yours and my duty as a citizen don't end on election day. If you think that then no wonder government officials have walked all over this country. The day we stopped calling it "my government" or "our government" was the day we gave it permission to be this omnipotent force that seems intangible.

You want to send a message to an elected official. Get a large group of people together outside the office of that official and hold signs that simply say "We didn't go away after election day" Just to remind them that you are the one that put them in the position and you can get them out. Every position has its procedure for ejection. If enough people actually cared you could get anything done.


RE: government's answer....
By mdogs444 on 5/1/2009 8:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He told Harry Reid he was a gifted speaker, that's the same thing as saying jimmy page was a gifted guitarist. Your retort is invalid.

Not unless Jimmy Page himself said he was the most gifted guitarist in the world.
quote:
Everyone on the internet has to bitch about something. Government officials aren't threatened by chat blogs.

I never claimed they were, nor do I believe in the Obamessiah. Merely stating that whether it be on the internet, in public, a rally, protest, etc is all a form of "putting up". By making your voice heard in one forum or another is using your free speech to tell what you do not agree with the direction we're taking in government.
quote:
Yours and my duty as a citizen don't end on election day. If you think that then no wonder government officials have walked all over this country. The day we stopped calling it "my government" or "our government" was the day we gave it permission to be this omnipotent force that seems intangible. You want to send a message to an elected official. Get a large group of people together outside the office of that official and hold signs that simply say "We didn't go away after election day" Just to remind them that you are the one that put them in the position and you can get them out. Every position has its procedure for ejection. If enough people actually cared you could get anything done.

First off, I didnt vote for Obama, I didnt back the stimulus packages of Bush or Obama, I dont favor any of the bailouts, and I hate the regressive taxation system and social programs.

I voiced my disgust by voting, by attending a tea party, and always voicing my opinion to others, as well as writing multiple letters to my governor and congressman (both liberal democrats, which probably don't even read my letters).

Outside of working my way up to run for office myself, there isn't much more I can do when the liberal crap, and this guilt/entitlement mentality is shoved down everyones throats.


RE: government's answer....
By Drexial on 5/1/2009 1:29:32 PM , Rating: 1
I never said you voted for Obama and didn't say you had to agree with anything. That's just even more the reason to stand outside the office of your officials and let them know. Not even for any particular cause. Just a reminder that your still there.

I feel a lot of people have a funny idea of what all this "entitlement" people are getting is. I cant speak for all places. But there is a lot of jumping through hoops for anything you consider "entitlement" in NY. Unemployment for starters is pretty easy to apply for but the LONGEST you can be on it is 1 year and that's only if you are a student. If you are not a student it only lasts 6 months of active job hunting. The only way to get is is if you lost your job, not if you quit or got fired for reasonable terms. I dunno about you but that has saved my as from layoffs. Now I am fully employed again. dunno about you but 6 months isn't exactly a free ride through life.

Food stamps is a bit more of a hand out. But when you are barely making enough to survive at a job it helps. It got me and my family through part of my childhood. Especially when my mom working and going back to school. (I'll have more on the usual "well then get a real job" response to minimum wage jobs later). The scrutiny of who gets food stamps and how they get them is changing. The used to be paper coupons that you would spend like cash. But the problem with this was people were exchanging them on the street for drugs and shit. The answer to this is a card that has your name and photo on it. This way you cant exchange it with someone else and it can only be accepted at the proper places.

Socialized health care. Always a good topic for the internets. I feel that the standards of business and profiting have no place when it comes to peoples health and well being.

fuck it I'm leaving on these posts.... if people don't understand the basics of supply and demand and don't understand that's exactly why capitalism is a failure then fuck it, I'm done on this site.... I cant understand how "free market" supporters don't see the flaw in the equation.

I am quitting do to half assed articles and the rediculous ability of everyone to turn this site into a constant political battle. AMD releases a new video card and somehow obama is the reason that the card doesn't perform the way it should. I don't even like obama.... but I am sick of hearing about him. He isn't the savior and he isn't the cause of the problems. HE CANT BE THE CAUSE OF PROBLEMS that have been in place for decades when he has been in office 3 damn months.


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