Producer of power grid film says U.S. is “incredibly vulnerable” to massive society-ending cyberattack
03/31/2022 // JD Heyes // Views

The maker of a film focusing on weaknesses inherent in the U.S. power grid says that with war raging in eastern Europe, Iran on the move, North Korea testing new ICBMs, and China eyeing Taiwan, America's electric nerve center is at major risk of being destroyed by a cyberattack.

In an interview late last week, David Tice, producer of the film “Grid Down, Power Up," noted that as he researched his film, he discovered how "incredibly vulnerable" the U.S. grid is to a cyber assault from Russia, China and other potential adversaries.

“We’re in an incredibly vulnerable position,” Tice told NTD’s Capitol Report in a recent interview. “And essentially, we have four big adversaries, China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. And all of them have talked about the fact that they could potentially bring down our power grid and therefore affect U.S. civilians.”

To his point, the Biden administration has warned on multiple occasions of the potential of a cyberattack from Russia in response to the U.S. and NATO providing lethal military aid to Ukraine following Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion, which was only supposed to last a week or less but has been dramatically prolonged by stiff resistance.

Also, Joe Biden has said recently as well that the threat has dramatically increased since the U.S. and Western countries imposed stiff economic sanctions on Moscow over the invasion.

“Today, my administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” Biden said in a March 21 press statement.


Biden also called on private power companies to do more to shore up their cybersecurity and cyber defenses.

“My administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone," he said.

But Tice warned that the power grid infrastructure in the U.S. is not secure from cyberattacks since they are privately owned and are not very well-regulated.

“Essentially, government tends to not be prepared for these ultimate catastrophes. And frankly, one of the big issues is our public utilities have not been regulated sufficiently … our public utilities or electric companies have pretty much been self-regulated and there needs to be an overhaul of that regulation," he said.

The chief of the U.S. Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) echoed the White House warnings and confirmed U.S. intelligence reporting that Russia seeks to undermine cyber security inside the country.

“In light of the indictments announced today and evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options to conduct potential cyberattacks against the U.S., CISA, along with our FBI and DOE partners, is issuing this joint advisory to reinforce the demonstrated threat posed by Russian state-sponsored cyber actors,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly in a March 24 press statement.

Were an adversary to launch a large-scale cyberattack against the U.S. and knock out huge swaths of our power infrastructure, perhaps for months, the aftermath would be devastating, as society would literally collapse in many parts of the country, particularly the major cities. Millions of Americans would likely die as a result as well because our modern infrastructure relies solely on electricity to function.

“And therefore, they could essentially turn out the lights, they can knock out our critical transformers, and our SCADA [Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition]. Essentially, that could cause a longer-term power outage,” said Tice, referencing the industrial control system at the heart of many industries.

If there is any good news, Tice noted, it's that the U.S. military is far less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Essentially our military has become hardened against a potential cyberattack and electromagnetic pulse attack. However, our civilian infrastructure has not been given that same attention," he said.

No doubt the U.S. would respond in kind to a cyberattack, but that won't be much of a consolation for most Americans caught up in the chaos.

Sources include:

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