The Cold War’s back – and poised to take out our power grid

You probably didn’t hear about this in the mainstream media. They like to keep us entertained with Capitol Hill in-fighting and updates on so-called celebreties. But this is serious.

A destructive “Trojan Horse” malware program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure and it’s poised to cause an economic catastrophe, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

They’re saying that the malware was put in by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a very serious threat to our vulnerable infrastructure. (Note too, the recent hacker attack on Anthem, the health insurance company, is widely believed to have been conducted by the Chinese government. Cyber warfare is very much upon us.)

The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Some elements of the unclassified Executive Office of the President network have also been affected, according to a statement from the administration official.

“Our actions are ongoing, and some have resulted in some temporary outages and loss of connectivity for our users,” the official said in the statement. “Our computers and systems have not been damaged, though some elements of the unclassified network have been affected. The temporary outages and loss of connectivity for our users is solely the result of measures we have taken to defend our networks.”

DHS said in a bulletin that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but they claim that no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process.

So while U.S. officials recently became aware of the penetration, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed. Gee, that’s reassuring.

LIFE HACK: I know that as a self-reliant person your mind is already working out how you’d manage if the Russians took out our powergrid. Maybe you should think about Lee’s Power Whisperer, which will silently meet your essential power needs during power outages. You can recharge it over and over again…all you need is a sunny day!