The bill, one aide said, would give the president the power to force “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover Dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack.
At which point I’m going oh, really now. Here’s why:
Anyone who works around process control and automation knows that the computer networks used are separate and isolated from the internet. Why would they already be isolated you ask, because the government isn’t as afraid of an attack as much as the business. Utilities for instance very rarely lease lines or use communication paths they don’t own. They have shielding cables that also have fiber optics in side. They run communications at the same time they run the power lines.
Why is a business more afraid of an attack than the government could be? Lets say someone causes a protective system to fail to operate, at which point a fault is caused in the power grid. The result is a transformer exceeding it’s rated voltages, ultimately ending in a failure of the transformer. A transmission level transformer easily costs millions of dollars and can take 18 months to 2 years for delivery since they are no longer manufactured in the United States. All that time, that transmission line is out of commission. If this transformer is tied to a generator, that generator is now no longer able to produce and sell electricity from that generator for 2 years. Not to mention utilities have to comply with NERC-CIP regarding infrastructure security.
More are also screaming that these claims are “FUD”. Nevada’s Bureau of Reclamation, responsible for the dam, are extremely pissed as well.
“I’d like to point out that this is not a factual example, because Hoover Dam and important facilities like it are not connected to the internet,” Peter Soeth, a spokesman for the bureau, said in an e-mail. “These types of facilities are protected by multiple layers of security, including physical separation from the internet, that are in place because of multiple security mandates and good business practices.”
So the thought of someone hacking in like Live Free or Die Hard is completely unrealistic. Seriously, that movie is like any other movie from Hollywood, leave your suspension of disbelief at the door. Unsurprisingly the morons in Congress do not seem to understand that Hollywood is not Reality. Of course though the statements from our Congress critters cause people to believe that the loss of their freedom is justified due to this possible catastrophe. [snark]They are so much smarter and wiser than we are, we must need to surrender our freedoms if they ask us to[/snark].
So please, remember if a politician is asking for something, seriously question the motivations, and most importantly, question any “examples” of dangers they use. TSA and DHS hasn’t caught any terrorists unless you include the domains they confiscated. The FBI and the DOD followed political correctness so hard that they allowed Ft. Hood to occur. So why the name of Zeus’s Butthole would we hand over the power to shut down the internet. We have seen what governments really do with that power. Anyone who supports this bill is a Tyrant, no doubt, because, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom, It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” Reject “FUD” for what it is.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.