A recent roundup of electric grid/cyber stories

Since doing a study of the security of the U.S. electric grid, (and developing a strategy toward managing the same) at National War College, I continue to take a passing interest in electric grid and infrastructure security issues.  It's not an area I have actual expertise in, but after about a year of studying the topic, I have enough knowledge to understand some of the basic issues.  Many people are still in a vigorous debate about the subject - some thinking the grid is close to collapse/infiltration/destruction, and some thinking the entire topic is overblown and not a real issue.  Part of the issue centers around the impact - e.g. if cascading effects of a shut down in one location can quickly take down (long term) significant parts of the U.S. grid.  If you believe that, then several studies show how much modern society depends on the gird, and how bad it could get.  But that cascade part is a key pivot point.

Having said that, here's some of the recent articles.  One directly related to electric grid, and one of interest tangentially related:

- An AP investigation revealing the electric grid is vulnerable to "hacks".  Here's the KFI 640AM story here.  It's a nice long in-depth look at the subject.  The BLUF or tl;dr version: quite a bit of cyber attacks going on, nobody really wants to talk about it due to the sensitive nature, and it's all hard to trace and even harder to stop due to old electrical grid equipment that was never designed in the Internet age.

- A WIRED article about how the CIA does it's cyber data protection.  Located here.  The BLUF or tl;dr version: the CIA treats data using a "triad" of three components: confidentiality, integrity and availability.  Confidentiality - keeping the secrets (countered by espionage). Integrity - analyzing if you're software/critical data is infected with virus/trojans/bugs.  Availability - keeping services running (countered by denial of service/data deletion).