Imagine a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 or worse — in the dark.
With no ability to communicate, no Internet, no utilities, no fuel and no running water. And you can’t access money from an ATM because the electronic banking system where you live is disabled.
The U.S. power grid controls massive swaths of our infrastructure including eCommerce, banking, utilities, transportation, fuel, communications — even our water treatment facilities, just to name a few.
Now the heads of U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA, among other security experts, have come out warning that our power grid is vulnerable to a large-scale attack — with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Adm. Michael Rogers, NSA’s chief, has testified before Congress that China and “one or two” other countries have the ability to launch a cyberattack that could shut down the entire grid and other critical infrastructure.
But that’s not the only threat to our national security. ISIS, aka the Islamic State, is a growing concern. If terrorists such as ISIS were able to shut down the grid in one major U.S. city, they could inflict mass terror and kill thousands.
Let’s recall the attack to a grid system in San Jose, Calif., last year where assailants with AK-47s shot up a major power station that took out 17 transformers. A cartel of Mexican extremists, known as the Knights Templar, attacked multiple Mexican power stations using guns and Molotov cocktails, leaving 11 towns without electricity last year.
“Now those guys are just across our porous southern border,” stated Dr. Peter Pry, former CIA officer and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.
But that’s not all. In Yemen last June, an al-Qaeda jihadist affiliate, AQAP, attacked the national power grid and cut off power to the entire country for a day.
“Certainly ISIS has the money and capability with its large war chest to go out and assemble a group or hire freelance criminal hackers that could be placed in vulnerable areas” to knock out the U.S. grid, cybersecurity expert Eric Schiffer, CEO of Patriarch Equity, told me on Boston Herald Radio.
America needs to wake up to this real threat and demand that our representatives in Washington shut down the border and do whatever it takes to strengthen and protect the national power grid.
Now. Before it’s too late.
Adriana Cohen is a columnist and radio host on Boston Herald Radio. Visit adrianacohen.com or follow her on Twitter @Adriana Cohen16.