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Critical Infrastructure: Securing the Power Grid

Although it didn’t quite fit the FBI’s criteria for terrorism, a mysterious nighttime attack on an important Northern California substation two years ago was a wakeup call for the electric power industry. Someone using wire cutters and a rifle caused $15 million in damage and forced the substation out of service for nearly a month. Since this happened in the middle of the night when power demand was low, no homes or businesses were blacked out, but the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time characterized it as “the most significant incident” involving the power grid that…

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