Thursday, June 18, 2009

Electricity Industry to Scan Grid for Spies

Siobhan Gorman writes in The Wall Street Journal:

The electric-utility industry is planning a pilot initiative to see whether Chinese spies have infiltrated computer networks running the power grid, according to people familiar with the effort.

Officials of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., an industry regulatory group, are negotiating with a defense contractor for the job of searching for breaches by cyberspies, according to people familiar with the plans.

NERC is completing plans for the pilot program as it launches a separate, broader initiative to evaluate power companies' ability to withstand cyber attacks. The industry has sought to bolster computer-system security as public and congressional scrutiny of its potential vulnerability has grown.

The initiatives acknowledge the threat of cyber breaches, cybersecurity specialists said. NERC's limited pilot program would be the first industry-level look at cyberspying on electric networks.

More here.


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