TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Hackers Target U.S. Power Grid

Re: Hackers Target U.S. Power Grid

Al Dykes (
22 Mar 2005 14:44:55 -0500

In article <>,
Daniel J McDonald <> wrote:

> In article <>,
> <> wrote:

>> Power grids existed long before networked-computers came out. Why
>> would the grid be so vulnerable now?

> Because it is more efficient to control a grid froma central location,
> rather than sending men out to substations to throw breakers.

>> Shouldn't those critical networks be isolated from outside access
>> altogether?

> Information sharing can be gathered for non-control systems from the
> intelligent devices at grid control points. Meters are not only
> useful for determining load and deciding when to switch to a different
> circuit, but for billing as well. information about voltage and
> frequency support is used to demonstrate "more stability" and thus
> gain a higher retail price, in addition to giving the control board
> operators information on what they need to do to support the grid.

> Also, the grid has become more complicated, with "distributed
> generation". With people looking for alternative sources of power,
> there are many additional complexities. For example, in my city,
> Austin Texas, there are solar, fuel-cell, and small-package combined
> chiller/generators distributed around the city that feed into the
> grid, along with a couple of methane burners at the dumps.
> Coordinating all of those small generators takes extensive
> instrumentation that wasn't necessary 20 years ago, and wouldn't be
> possible without networks.

>> Secondly, they should be more worried about grid overloads from all the
>> power source shifting done today. The grids were not designed to
>> handle that kind of loads and problems like the recent NYC-NE blackout
>> will occur again.

> Yup. The real solution, assuming we can't upgrade the grid, is to
> build more powerplants closer to the load (that is, closer to
> population centers). Of course, that is very popular and people are
> overjoyed to welcome new jobs into their neighborhoods. ;-)

> Daniel J McDonald CCIE # 2495, CNX
> Visit my website:

These little gas-fired plants (100MW ?) seem to be solving the problem
for the NYC area. They take about an acre and generate no perceptable
smells/noise/etc and pass zoning review if the proposed location isn't
a residential area.

The downside it seems is that we may have "overcomitted" our supply of
natural gas. Greenspan made a statement to this effect a year or so


a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Steve Sobol: "Re: VoIP and Bell DSL: Is it Ready For Prime Time?"
Go to Previous message: "Re: Tracking Down a Harassing Caller Number?"
May be in reply to: Marcus Didius Falco: "Hackers Target U.S. Power Grid"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page