Grid resilience to cyber and physical attack tested

GridEx II is testing the resilience of the US grid against cyber and physical attacks.
Published: Mon 07 Jul 2014

Key outcomes include the need to continue building on communication across the industry, improve on some emergency procedures and understand the challenge of a simultaneous cyber and physical attack.

A report of a cyber attack on ABC Utility on the East coast of the US has key utility staff working to prevent outages and malware taking over key SCADA equipment. In the MidWest, BCD Utility has just been alerted that key infrastructure has been damaged by what appears to be a malicious attack on the infrastructure.

In Washington DC, in a secure control room, all communication between ABC and outside utilities and authorities is closely monitored.

This is the start of GridEx II, the most comprehensive test of the resilience of the US grid against cyber and physical attack yet undertaken. And, while the scenario played out above is merely for illustrative purposes, the scenarios presented to GridEx II players were modelled to be as close to reality as possible, taking into account regional or local environments, equipment and other elements which may affect a utility’s ability to continue ensuring the stability of the grid in the face of a co-ordinated cyber and physical attack.

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