Article – Getting ready: Pentagon to protect electric grid from massive attack

Amid warnings that North Korea and Iran have plans to take out parts of the U.S. electric grid through a cyber attack or atmospheric nuclear blast, the Pentagon is taking steps to both protect the nation’s communications and power lifeline.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has charged BAE Systems to map a system that can detect a cyber attack and gin up an alternative communications network for military and civilian use if the grid is fried, according to Defense Systems, the online newsletter.

Interesting article. A lot of people forget that the internet was originally envisioned for exactly this sort of scenario – a resilient communications system that could operate even with chunks of it destroyed. It’s decentralized nature increased survivability and resiliency.

I find it interesting that the focus is on the East Coast which has gotta be a lot tougher for the NorKs than getting a warhead to the West Coast. But, here in Montana we’d be relatively insulated from either coast getting whomped on.

War on the horizon? Nope. I’m putting it right up there with the return of Xenu or Planet X. But, remember, there doesn’t have to be a war to screw up your plans…all that has to happen is for enough people to believe that there’s one on the way and it becomes virtually self-fulfilling. Don’t be surprised if gas prices go up and the metals market does some weird shimmying.

I liked the emphasis on EMP in the article. It’s something that has still never really been done, as far as I know, on any researchable large scale….kinda hard to set off a high altitude nuke these days without someone getting their panties in a twist. I think EMP is a tad overrated in terms of potential damage. Fiction would have us believe that planes will fall from the sky and even your Casio G-Shock will stop working. I suspect that smaller, simpler, electrical systems will probably work just fine. The planes? Mmmmm…(waggles hand).

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but I think this is such a non-event that I’m not really doing anything special…but then again, life is always a “DOUBLE TAKE” around here anyway.

23 thoughts on “Article – Getting ready: Pentagon to protect electric grid from massive attack

  1. You think lobbing a warhead onto the East Coast would be tougher than the West? I’ve been giving the NK situation a lot of thought recently. 3 ICBMs tipped with small warheads launched from cargo container ships could knock out the power grid to the US & a fair amount of Canada and Mexico. One from the Atlantic, one from the Gulf & the last off the California/Oregon coast, coordinated to explode simultaneously at a low altitude is about all it would take. And I’m very afraid that the crazy, fat kid Kim Jong-unhinged has figured out the same thing.

    • If they’re launched from cargo containers off the coast, then you dont need the IC part of “ICBM”…a much shorter range, and more compact and concealable, delivery system could be used. Additionally, as best I can tell, the ICBM hasnt been built that will fit into a 40’~ cargo container, although I suppose a couple of them laid end to end and side by side could be dummied up to conceal an ICBM.

      • You’re right about not needing the IC. And it wouldn’t take much to dummy up containers. If they can be turned into tiny houses they can hide a launcher.

      • Not so.

        Polaris III A-3, 32’4″, 2500nm range
        Trident I D-4, 33′ long, 4600mi range.
        The Trident II D-5, at 44’6″ barely pokes out of that 40′ length, but fits handily in 53′ oversize containers, for a >7500mi range.
        All under or about 2m around, which is an easy if cozy fit for an 8′ x 8′ box.

        Yes, this is rocket science, but that’s exactly what Kim has got up to thus far.

        Assumptions re: any enemy and his notional capabilities have to give him the benefit of the doubt, lest your fleet wind up on the bottom of Pearl Harbor one sunny morning.

        Worse, Martin Caidin (the guy who brought you The Six Million Dollar Man via his book Cyborg) also authored a prescient little book in 1972 called When War Comes,
        wherein he postulated an enemy (in his book, the then-Soviets) simply sank a number of cargo vessels that were essentially giant super bombs, off the West Coast, and some years later, set them off during heightened international tensions, to create massive tsunamis and unleash tectonic plates. The descriptions would give nightmares to ghouls. Not funny, yet well within the current capabilities of Gangnam Kim, or the Iranians.

        Sweet dreams.

        • Ha! I haven’t had sweet dreams since that lunatic took the NK Throne! At least his father had some slight grip on reality.

    • Low-altitude nuclear explosions would have minimal effect. For an EMP attack you want MORE altitude, both to increase the amount of the power grid that’s in line-of-sight of the explosion, and to have less atmosphere to attenuate the EMP.

      Realistically, the chances of the NorKs being able to pull any such attack off are zero. King Kim knows that the US response would be an overwhelming nuclear strike on North Korea — the very best he could hope for would be his Chinese “allies” only seizing half of North Korea as a buffer zone — where they would line up and shoot every single pal of the Kim dynasty and install compliant “Korean” figureheads who took their orders from Beijing.

      And the South Koreans are not going to be nice to what’s left of North Korea. They may be less willing to “kill ’em all, God will know his own” any NorKs they encounter, but since in all likelihood Kim will have pulled the lanyard on a massive bombardment of Seoul and numerous special forces and sleeper agent attacks on South Korea, they will be merciless against anyone with any links to the Kim family. Twenty-something South Korean soldiers may not be hardened killers today, but that will change in the first 24 hours of a NorK attack on the South.

  2. I have wonder about planes as well. They take lightning strikes all the time and remain flying. They must have some built in protection!!!

  3. Gas prices around here have been going up very fast – now I know why, maybe. As far as being safe from bombs, I’m in an area that wouldn’t be a target, but bombs have been known to go off track & land in the wrong places. I’m hoping nobody gets stupid & starts another war.

    • Gas prices are going up for Easter, like they always do.
      They’ll go up again running up to Memorial Day, and stay up until Labor Day, same reason.

      Not that all the major oil companies collude, of course not, it’s just an annual tradition of breathtaking coincidence going back 50 years. Nothing to see here, move along.

  4. i agree on the emp overblown idea. i was lucky enough to get selected during basic training to go hep move some trucks around. turns out it was an emp experiment. everything either kept running or restarted easily afterward. plane kept right on running too. they have been shielding radio equipment ever since, and i assume cars as well. yeah, might knock out the grid in immediate area but one or threebombs wouldn’t do it nationwide.

    • “one or threebombs wouldn’t do it nationwide.”

      Depends on the altitude of the blast. At a high enough of an altitude, say several hundred miles, one detonation could cover the nation.

      • it wold have to be several times larger than any bomb known to cover that distance with strong enough pulse wave to crash the whole system. yeah, might kill the grid over a large area. as long as we’re left with some commo we’ll be okay.

  5. I also feel its a nonissue, but its always good to ask yourself what will jump in price or present as a shortage if some wild nork event happens. And then maybe concentrate on those things.

    God knows what bizarre ideas that fruitcake can come up with. Even if he just gets assassinated, there will be turbulence.

  6. Let’s see: DARPA is going to start detecting cyber attacks, despite DOD’s utter failure to recognize the culture of espionage fermenting inside their own buildings. Today’s traitors can’t even sell secrets (they have to *give* them away), due to the volume of willing-leakers all over the place.

  7. It’s not electrical systems that are sensitive to an air-burst, but electronics, according to the EMP knowledgeable. Being connected to the grid makes them even more sensitive, as it acts as an antenna to channel the energy to the electronics, supposedly. Mostly, it is considered a line-of-sight effect, which is why the minimum 3 bomb scenario is talked about. Due to the need to cover the lower states, Canada probably won’t see much damage with only 3, I suspect. Detonation height is supposed to be around 300 miles for best effect.

    I don’t think they can generate a Carrington Event with just a few airbursts. Possibly if they were those city-busters that the USSR built. It’s scary enough to know that a solar flare could wipe out the US. Neither of them, flare or EMP, is a recoverable scenario for us as a first world nation. No way, no how.

    • A solar flare is a far more likely and far more terrifying possibility.

      An EMP bomb attack is neither likely to occur nor likely to be all that devastating.

      For the simple reason that anyone setting off a nuclear bomb 300 miles above the US has just attacked the US with nuclear weapons. The US that possesses hundreds of very reliable and very accurate ICBMs that are in EMP-sheltered silos, ready to fire on a few minutes’ notice. And hundreds more SLBMs that are who-knows-where around the globe, protected from EMP not just by technology but also by distance.

      The only realistic scenario for an EMP attack via nuke is as part of a massive nuclear attack on the US by someone like Russia — and it would be merely a “Why not, while we’re at it?” measure at that point.

      A solar flare is possible — inevitable, in fact — and would almost certainly be world-wide in its effects.

      • You are assuming that the people who would be inclined to toss nukes at the US are playing with a full deck. I wouldn’t take that bet.

        The scenario of using container ships to get those launchers close to our borders has an inherent assumption: To attempt to hide those who orchestrated the setup.

        It could be very difficult to trace those missiles and warheads, especially if the ships are destroyed after launching. A tactical nuke on board each ship would leave nothing for investigators to examine. Tracing the ship movements, and all the containers on board, may not provide any certainty. Even determining the warhead builder may not identify the culprits. The USSR lost some of their warheads after their breakup, for starters. It may be possible to salt the warhead with material that would change the signature of it’s explosion, therefore cloaking the origins of the builder.

  8. I can’t help but think that “DOUBLE TAKE” is meant to mean something but I have no idea (not the first time) why?

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