The Cyber War? We will all be victims.

NYTimes, David Sanger: U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid <read>

Not sure the headline is accurate, to use the word ‘attacks’. The article points to our increasing cyber presence in the Russian grid, but no claims of actual attack. This in the same week as large, as yet, unattributed outages in South America. And yesterday’s rumors that the Trump Administration may be planning on bombing Iran.

To me, the basic story is a ho hum. Russia and China are lurking in our power grid and its been known for sometime we are in Russia’s. I would be concerned if we weren’t attempting to match them. All of that is covered in Sanger’s book, The Perfect Weapon, which I am reading right now. If you buy it, get the recently released paperback update.

There are two things that are scary in all this:

First, there is lots apparently withheld from our President, from the article:

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place “implants” — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

There are indications that the plans to bomb Iran are also being created without telling the President. While I am worried about John Bolton and the risk of him starting a war, I am just as concerned with the risks inherent in our President and understand why some keep things from him. Itt is all scary.

Second,  the next war will be a cyber war. If we start by bombing a specific facility in Iran, we will likely attempt to kill their power and communications grids. If not, its likely Russia will go after ours. In a couple escalations the World will likely be powered down.

In an all-out cyber war, we will be likely victims. If our power grid is successfully attacked it will be out for months, with transformers, power plants, etc. destroyed. In short, no power, no communications, no transportation, no food, and most of us without water, medicine and healthcare. It would make what happened and continues in Puerto Rico seem minor.

PS: Our election infrastructure is much less protected than our power grid. Worse, the goal of Russia is likely to disrupt our elections, bring our elections and thus our democracy into question.

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