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.
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...
quote: Speaking your mind against the government when you don't agree with them.......that's not "putting up"?
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)
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.
quote: Everyone on the internet has to bitch about something. Government officials aren't threatened by chat blogs.
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.