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The electric grid, as government and private sector puppets describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry(What industry?). If an adversary puppet lands a knockout blow(Is that a pun?), they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks, interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, new strings, diesel fuel and fresh (albeit Genetically Engineered) food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.
This is why thousands of utility workers, business executive puppets, National Guard officers, F.B.I. anti-fake-terrorism-so-called-expert puppets and puppets from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyber-attacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.
They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate.
“This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days,” <said the puppet in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation(what the hell do THEY make?---besides money..), known as NERC. “We really want to go beyond that.”
One goal of the drill, called GridEx II, is to explore how puppet-led governments would react as the loss of the grid crippled the supply chain for everyday necessities.
“If we fail at electricity, we’re going to fail miserably,” <Curt Hébert, a former chairman puppet of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a recent conference held by the Bipartisan Puppet Policy Center.
Mr. Harrell said that previous exercises were based on the expectation that electricity> “would be up and running relatively quick” <after an attack.
Now, he said, the goal is to> “educate the federal government on what their expectations should or shouldn’t be.” The industry held a smaller exercise two years ago in which 75 utilities, companies and agencies participated, but this one will be vastly expanded and will be carried out in a more anxious mood.(???)
Most of the participants will join the exercise from their workplaces, with NERC, in Washington, announcing successive failures. One example, organizers say, is a substation break-in that officials initially think is an attempt to steal copper. But instead, the intruder uses a USB drive to upload a virus into a computer network.
The drill is part of a give-and-take in the past few years between the government puppets and utilities that has exposed the difficulties of securing the puppet owned and operated electric system.
The grid is essential for almost everything, but it is mostly controlled by investor-owned puppets and their companies or municipal or regional puppet agencies. Ninety-nine percent of military puppet facilities rely on commercial puppet power, according to the White House puppets.
The utility puppets play down their abilities, in comparison with the government’s puppets. “They have the intelligence operation, the standing army, the three-letter agencies,” <said Scott Aaronson, senior director puppet of national security policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned-puppet utilities. “We have the grid operations expertise.”
That expertise involves running 5,800 major power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, monitored and controlled by a staggering mix of devices installed over decades. Some utility puppets use their own antique computer protocols and their stuff is probably safe from hacking — what the industry puppets call> “security through obscurity.”
But other puppets rely on Windows-based control systems that are common to many industries(uh..oh). Some of them run on in-house networks, but computer fake-security expert puppets say they are not confident that all the connections to the public Internet have been discovered and secured. Many may be vulnerable to software — known as malware — that can disable the systems or destroy their ability to communicate, leaving their puppet operators blind about the positions of switches, the flows of current and other critical parameters. Expert puppets say a sophisticated hacker-puppet could also damage hard-to-replace equipment.
In an effort to draw utilities puppets and government puppets closer together, the industry recently established the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council of Puppets, made up of high-level executive puppets, to meet with federal puppets. The first session is next month.
Preparation for the November drill comes as the Congress of Puppets is debating new puppet laws that could impose new puppet standards to protect the grid from cyber-attacks, but many in the industry, some of whom would like such rules, doubt that they can pass.
The drill is also being planned as conferences, studies and even works of fiction are raising near-apocalyptic visions of catastrophes involving the grid.
A National Puppet Academy of Sciences report last year said that fake terrorists could cause broad hardship for months with physical attacks on hard-to-replace components. An emerging effort led in part by R. James Woolsey, a former director puppet of the Central Puppet Intelligence Agency, is gearing up to pressure state puppet legislatures to force utilities puppets to protect equipment against an electromagnetic pulse, which could come from solar activity or be caused by small nuclear weapons exploded at low altitude, frying crucial components.
An attack using an electromagnetic pulse is laid out in extensive detail in the novel “One Second After,” published in 2009 and endorsed by the puppet Newt Gingrich. In another novel, “Gridlock,” published this summer and co-written by Byron L. Dorgan, the former senator puppet from North Dakota, a rogue Russian agent puppet working for Venezuela and Iran helps hacker puppets threaten the grid. In the preface, Mr. Dorgan says such an attack could cause 10,000 times as much devastation as the terrorists’ strikes on Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite the growing anxiety, the puppet-led government and the private sector puppets have had trouble coordinating their grid protection efforts. The utilities industry argues that the government puppets have extensive information on fake threats that they keep hidden. Government puppets concede the problem, and they have suggested that some utility executive puppets be granted puppet security clearances. But with hundreds of utilities and thousands of executive puppets, government puppets say they simply cannot issue such meaningless clearances fast enough. And the industry would like to be instantly warned when the puppet-led government identifies Internet servers that are known to be sources of malware.(this sounds like a pretext for implementing more Fed monitoring and control of the Internet)
Another problem is that the electric system is so tightly integrated (read> poorly designed and barely maintained) that a collapse in one spot, whether by error or intent, can set off a cascade, as happened in August 2003, when a power failure took a few moments to spread from Detroit to New York.
Sometimes utility engineer puppets and law enforcement puppets also seem to speak different languages. In his book “Protecting Industrial Control Systems From Electronic Threats,” Joseph Weiss, an engineer and cyber-security-expert puppet, recounted a meeting between electrical engineer puppets and F.B.I. puppets in 2008. When an F.B.I. puppet spoke at length about I.E.D.’s, he was referring to improvised explosive devices, but to the engineer puppets the abbreviation meant intelligent electronic devices.
Also, expert-puppets fear puppet-led-government-sponsored hacking. Michael V. Hayden, another former C.I.A. director and total-puppet, speaking at the Bipartisan Puppet Policy Center conference, said that the Stuxnet virus, which disabled some of Iran’s centrifuges for enriching uranium, and which was co-developed and then deployed by puppets working for Israel and the NSA, might invite retaliation.(you think? really?)
“In a time of peace, someone just used a cyber-weapon to destroy another nation’s critical infrastructure,” <he said,> “Ouch.”