Grid Is Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks

Computer networks controlling the electric grid are plagued with security holes that could allow intruders to redirect power delivery and steal data, the Energy Department warned in a recent report.

Many of the security vulnerabilities are strikingly basic and fixable problems, including a failure to install software security patches or poor password management. Many of the fixes would be inexpensive, according to the Idaho National Lab, an Energy Department facility that conducted the study.

The report reinforces concerns that intelligence officials have raised in recent years about growing surveillance of the electric grid by Chinese and Russian cyber-spies, which The Wall Street Journal reported last year. One worry is that a foreign country could shut down power in parts of the U.S.

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