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What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

Russia and the US are engaging in tit-for-tat hacking of each others’ power grid, the New York Times is reporting, in what is really a kind of cyber “cold war” where the hackers from each country’s military and intelligence services load electronic “explosives” in the computer systems of critical infrastructure of the other, that in a crisis or war could be “detonated” to create chaos or bring down electric grids.

The Times article, the publication of which President Trump decried in a tweet as “close to treason,” was disturbing for a number or reasons. One was that sources told the Times the hacking by the US Cyber Command of Russia’s power grid had been conducted without the president’s knowledge, for fear that he might act to prevent it or might disclose it.

In other words, an action — the hostile hacking of another rival country’s essential infrastructure, which the US government has warned other nations would be viewed as an “act of war,” is being taken by the US military, without the President’s or Congress’s knowledge!

That should be enough to send shivers down the spine of any sane person. In fact, the that could lead to a US “military response.”

If the Times is correct in both its articles, the current US hacking of Russia’s power grid is evidence of a US military establishment run amok.

Congress should be outraged and calling for immediate hearings to determine the chain of command that allowed this to happen. Either Trump is lying, and knows all about the hacking, or some high-ranking military officers who acted without his knowledge should be fired the way President Truman fired an insubordinate Gen. Douglas McArthur during the Korean War.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Has Never Happened Before”: Millions Without Electricity After Massive Blackout Cripples Argentina And Uruguay

“This Has Never Happened Before”: Millions Without Electricity After Massive Blackout Cripples Argentina And Uruguay

Millions of people and entire cities descended into darkness as a massive, unprecedented power failure kept Argentina and Uruguay in the dark on Sunday morning, the same day as provincial elections were to be held in parts of Argentina. Parts of Brazil and Paraguay also were affected, according to the BBC.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Ahora en Boedo se ve como CABA está sin luz, aún no hay información oficiall de @OficialEdesur . Estoy esperando al medicio a domicilio por mi hija de 2 años con 39 de fiebre. Vivo en un 9° piso. #SINLUZ #APAGON

According to Buenos Aires-based electricity supplier company Edesur, Argentina suffered a “nationwide” blackout, which also affected neighboring Uruguay, said the company’s spokesperson, Alejandra Martinez, adding that “Something like this has never happened before.”

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Replying to @carlosrsucho @OficialEdesur

Absolutamente todo sin luz!!! Increíble

The company had earlier explained that the massive power outage happened due to a failure in the electrical interconnection system. The blackout itself started at 7:07am local time on Sunday, according to Argentinian officials.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Treason!” NYT Story Reveals US Cyber Ops Against Russian Power Grid Hidden From Trump

“Treason!” NYT Story Reveals US Cyber Ops Against Russian Power Grid Hidden From Trump

President Trump has hurled the dire charge of “Treason” at the New York Times for its lengthy investigative piece alleging US intelligence has stepped up systematic cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. “This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…” Trump tweeted Saturday evening in response to the story which ran hours earlier. 

He then hastily added in a follow-up tweet in all caps, “ALSO, NOT TRUE!” — as if only then realizing his initial tweet seemed to actually vouch for the story. The follow-up further excoriated the Times for their reporting with “not even the slightest thought of consequence!”

Whether this means the president is outraged that a true and verified report could be detrimental to US credibility and national security, or that fake news could hurt the US and invite unnecessary cyber retaliation is still not fully evident, but Trump’s impulsive Saturday evening tweets appear to back the former. 

 · 12h

Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…..

…..ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

And the Times was quick to respond to the “treason” charge as follows:

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View image on Twitter

Replying to @realDonaldTrump

Accusing the press of treason is dangerous.
We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns. https://nyti.ms/2FdpKV1

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Earth Offline: A ‘Solar Superflare’ Could Impact the Grid Sooner Than We Think

EARTH OFFLINE: A ‘SOLAR SUPERFLARE’ COULD IMPACT THE GRID SOONER THAN WE THINK

Scientists are warning that a solar superflare on the sun could take Earth’s power systems offline sooner than previously thought. New research suggests that our sun could be capable of shooting a superflare in our direction, and it might be relatively soon impacting our power grid.

Even though our sun is older and less active than other stars in the galaxy, that doesn’t mean it’s totally lost its power, according to Yuta Notsu, a visiting researcher at CU Boulder. Notsu and colleagues used Kepler Space Telescope data to check for evidence of superflares on other stars like our sun. “The Kepler results suggest that slowly rotating, sun-like stars can also have superflares,” Notsu said during a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis on Monday.

According to a report by Forbes, Notsu said the type of superflares his team describes would be at least 100 times more powerful than the Carrington Event of 1859, which is said to have caused Aurora Borealis as far south as Hawaii and destroyed telegraph infrastructure. “Our study shows that superflares are rare events,” said Notsu. “But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”

That would mean the power grid is potentially at stake. Depending on the severity of the super flare, we could have major problems that could stretch into months-long issues.

As humans, we are reliant on the power grid for almost everything in our daily lives.  If something goes wrong, and people lose power, we could have societal upheavals and massive civil unrest. While this scenario seems less likely than an all-out economic crash, it’s still important to have the basics of survivalism in the forefront of your mind.  Adopt a preparedness mindset and just consider the possible outcomes if we have problems.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

You must be already aware of the terrible water situation that people in most of the cities in Venezuela is facing. This is the product of the combination of several factors that I will try to explain. But please! Understand that we suffered the consequences of a weirdo military chief that NEVER had any clue about governing like a civilian, but giving orders and commands, and he ordered to seize all the companies and put them under control of the “State” because everyone should have access to water. Indeed our laws say that water is free; I mentioned this in a previous article. Companies therefore quickly found a turnaround to capitalize the right to ADDRESS, extract, and direct the water to the customers who did not pay for the water, but the work of having it “transported”. This is quite important for the reader to accept this. I have that feeling that sometimes people just refuse to believe this sort of things happen in some place in the world, much less in the same American continent. And yes, it happens. It happened to us, and it was about to happen to people in Chile, too, back in the 70s with Allende.

Things that were once easy to get in Venezuela are now impossible to find.

This said I hope you can have a more complete view of what happens when instead of motivated employees, highly trained and well paid, you have underpaid, sad, ill-mannered government employees wearing a T-shirt with Hugo´s face. Well, that happened in lots of companies, originating the disaster we are facing now.

EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

Image: EMP attacks could cripple America, warns the White House… and nobody is doing anything to defend the nation’s electrical infrastructure

(Natural News) A new warning from the White House has underscored the fragility of our society. As the Trump administration cautions, an EMP attack could easily take down the United States in a single shot. As such, Trump has now issued a presidential EMP order, with the aim of protecting vital infrastructure from total destruction. EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, attacks have been a known threat to the United States for decades. In spite of this, little has been done to insulate the nation’s most vulnerable and necessary structures — like power grids — from being destroyed by such an event.

As The Hill reports, the Congressional EMP Commission has been discussing EMPs as a major threat to the United Since since the Cold War.

Now, President Trump has issued an executive order to get the ball of national preparedness rolling. Under this new directive, key recommendations of the Congressional EMP Commission will finally see the light of day. The White House reportedly plans on having a “comprehensive strategy on EMPs” ready within the next 12 months.

Trump issues executive order on EMPs

While EMPs have been on the federal government’s radar for at least 20 years, it is only now that we see that risk being taken seriously. As The Hill contends, federal agencies have failed to adequately acknowledge and prepare for a potential EMP threat.

Trump’s order directs the secretaries from the Energy and Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security to “develop a plan to mitigate the effects of EMPs on the vulnerable priority-critical infrastructures.” DHS and Energy are also being directed to work with other federal agencies and the private sector to make this plan.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Return To Middle Ages”: Venezuela Again Plunged Into Darkness, Red Cross Mobilizes

“Return To Middle Ages”: Venezuela Again Plunged Into Darkness, Red Cross Mobilizes

Ahead of broad opposition protests planned for Saturday, Caracas and other large cities across Venezuela were once again plunged into darkness Friday evening, just as the country struggled to fully recover from prior days-long outages.

The latest blackout began just after 7:00pm, leaving most of the capital as well as Valencia, Maracay, San Cristobal and Maracaibo without electricity, again crippling the country’s transport, communication, water, and hospital infrastructures. A new blackout hit Caracas and other cities Friday evening, via the AP.

Reports this week have described the recent spate of mass outages as taking the already ailing and largely neglected infrastructure back to the Middle Ages, with descriptions of rotting and souring food on supermarket shelves, citizens making oil lamps, and Caracas residents washing dishes in nearby El Avila mountain streams due to lack of electricity to the city’s water pumps. 

Venezuelans have also had to traverse long distances on foot to get to work, or complete simple tasks like retrieving food and supplies. 

Sad days for Venezuelans every day! Their infrastructure has never been repaired for decades now it all crumbles down… #Venezuela #Caracas

This weekend’s outage marks the fourth power outage this month, which began on March 7. In response to the earlier outages, Venezuela’s Defense Ministry vowed to deploy armed forces to protect the national electricity system. 

President Nicolás Maduro blamed Washington for the earlier outages, claiming over Twitter that the Trump administration was engaged in an “electrical war” which was “announced and directed by American imperialism against our people.” 

Walking for hours, making oil lamps, bearing water. For Venezuelans today, suffering under a new nationwide blackout that has lasted days, it’s like being thrown back to life centuries ago— AFP

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Huge Solar Storm Blasted Earth 2,600 Years Ago Could Strike Again, Researchers Warn

Huge Solar Storm Blasted Earth 2,600 Years Ago Could Strike Again, Researchers Warn 

The most significant known geomagnetic storm to blast Earth occurred in 660 B.C., researchers say, based on traces of the storm’s particles preserved in both ice cores and tree rings. Though it had no impact on the pre-industrial and pre-technological world, such an event today would trigger widespread power outages and collapse communication and navigation systems. In short, modern society would come to a screeching halt.

The study titled Multiradionuclide evidence for an extreme solar proton event around 2,610 B.P. (∼660 BC) was published online March 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Raimund Muscheler, a professor of Quaternary Sciences at Lund University in Sweden, said a burst of solar energy from the sun could overwhelm power grids, air travel, and disrupt satellite communications if this were to happen.

“Today, we have a lot of infrastructures that could be badly damaged, and we travel in air and space where we are much more exposed to high-energy radiation,” Muscheler told LiveScience.

Researchers analyzed ice cores from Greenland to uncover the mystery of Earth’s most powerful solar storms. One ice core, in particular, dated back more than 100,000 years and contained radioactive isotopes that showed a massive solar storm struck the planet around 2,700 years ago.

“If that solar storm had occurred today, it could have had severe effects on our high-tech society,” said Muscheler, a geologist at Lund University in Sweden.

One example of a documented severe geomagnetic storm was known as ‘the Carrington Event,’ occurred in 1859 and knocked out telegraph circuits around the world, starting fires and causing massive auroras as far south as Hawaii.

Another example was a solar storm that knocked out power stations across Quebec, Canada, in 1989 and Malmö, Sweden, in 2003.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US officials offered my friend cash to take down Tehran’s power grid

US officials offered my friend cash to take down Tehran’s power grid

It took a country-wide power outage in Venezuela, whispers of a cyberattack, and smug tweets from US officials to make me suddenly recall the cloak-and-dagger story of a close Iranian-American friend nine years ago.

My friend, an engineer — who I will not name for obvious reasons and who I will call ‘Kourosh’ for the purpose of this article — revealed to me in 2010 that he was approached by two “State Department employees” who offered him $250,000 to “do something very simple” during his upcoming trip to Tehran.

Kourosh was freaking out because he didn’t know how these guys knew he was going to Iran in the first place, and how they knew he was “cash-strapped,” in the second.

He wasn’t a particularly political person, though he had participated in some DC protests in the aftermath of the hotly contested 2009 presidential elections. He was just one of thousands of Iranian-American engineers in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia technology belt looking to make a decent living.

Kourosh told the US officials that he was not interested, that if Iran needed to make changes, Iranians inside the country were the only ones who should do it.

I begged him to let me write this story, but he was very nervous and declined. Over the next year or two, I pushed some more and he gave me further information, but wouldn’t budge on its publication. Here’s what he revealed:

The State Department guys had since approached him a second time. They offered him further details about the job. They wanted him to disable Tehran’s power grid in exchange for the $250k. They needed someone with technical skills, but said the job was a simple one. He would have to go to a specific location in the Tehran area with a laptop or similar communication device and punch in a code.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China offered on Wednesday to help Venezuela repair its power grid after the country was plunged into its worst blackout on record, now in its sixth day, reports Reuters

With the power blackout in its sixth day, hospitals struggled to keep equipment running, food rotted in the tropical heat and exports from the country’s main oil terminal were shut down.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said China had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.

China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said. –Reuters

“China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order. China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid,” added Lu.

President Nicolas Maduro, who retains control of the country’s military and has the support of both Russia and China, has accused US President Donald Trump of cyber “sabotage.” 

The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack,” Maduro said in a 35-minute televised address on Monday night accusing the White House of launching an imperialist “electromagnetic attack.” 

“They came with a strategy of war of the kind that only these criminals – who have been to war and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria – think up,” Maduro added. 

Maduro claimed that the Trump administration conducted the attack in coordination with “puppets and clowns” from the Venezuelan opposition in order to bring about a “a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict” to justify a foreign invasion. 

Caracas-based political analyst Dimitris Pantoulas tweeted on Tuesday that Maduro appeared “worried, anxious and absolutely desperate,” adding that it’s clear that the government is not in control of the situation. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dozens Reported Dead In Venezuela After Mass Blackout Reaches Four Days

Dozens Reported Dead In Venezuela After Mass Blackout Reaches Four Days

Much of Venezuela is still in the dark — now four days running  after the worst blackout on modern record in Latin America enveloped the country last Thursday evening. And as of Saturday, Reuters reported at least 17 deaths at hospitals across the country attributable to the power outage, given many hospitals are now for days completely reliant on back-up generators to keep life saving ventilators and other medical devices going. Other reports have claimed multiple dozens of deaths across the country, especially in hospital neonatal units. 

Embattled socialist president Nicolas Maduro has continued to blame the crisis on an act of “sabotage” by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, for which he’s mobilized troops toprotect the national electricity system for the duration of the power outage. However, most analysts agree the electrical grid mass failure is the result of generally failing infrastructure after years of underinvestment and neglectLights off across Caracas, photo taken on March 9, via AFP

Following claims made through state TV social media of an “electricity war” being waged by the US and the Venezuelan foreign-backed opposition, Maduro stated on Twitter Sunday: “The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks,” and he added, “However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours.”

Over a weekend in which most major cities and towns remained in darkness and without internet, problems compounded as Venezuela’s already aging and mismanaged infrastructure continues to collapse in a domino effect of crises precipitated by the electrical grid mass failure, including endangerment to hospital patients on ventilators and other medical devices, shuttered businesses, and cash-only transactions, which remains difficult given the essentially worthless value of the local bolivar. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Venezuela Deploys Troops “To Protect National Power Grid” From US “Aggression”

Venezuela Deploys Troops “To Protect National Power Grid” From US “Aggression”

update: Though some parts of Venezuela’s power grid have reportedly begun to come back online after the country was plunged into nation-wide darkness beginning Thursday evening, the mass blackout crisis continues, which Caracas has blamed on US-orchestrated saboteurs.

To prevent further “sabotage” Venezuela’s Defense Ministry has vowed in an official statement via state TV social media channels to deploy armed forces to protect the national electricity system for the duration of the power outage.

“All the security agencies, civil protection and the nation’s integral defense system are deployed to protect and help the people across the country,” a statement said, via Bloomberg. This as official accusations against Washington for conducting what Maduro previously called a US “electricity war” have become even more strident. 

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

#LIVE | Venezuela’s @vladimirpadrino: “This [recent blackout] is an aggression against our country that has hurt every Venezuelan, regardless of color or political allegiance.”

The defense ministry previously vowed to put more security patrols on the streets after dark, as already high-crime areas of Caracas are now considered no-go zones as a result of the blackout. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Venezuela Now 24 Hours In Darkness; Maduro Blames US “Electricity War”

Venezuela Now 24 Hours In Darkness; Maduro Blames US “Electricity War”

Venezuela’s worst ever power outage in recent history has continued since Thursday, as video and photos continue to come out of the cash and resource strapped country showing entire cities blanketed in darkness.

Stretching into day two of the mass electrical shutdown, 23 out of 24 states remain in darkness, according to the AP, in a prolonged situation now reaching crisis levels given reports that hospitals are struggling to keep back-up generators running and many businesses are forced to remain shuttered. Caracas streets Thursday evening, via the AFP/Getty

The nation-wide blackout quickly turned into a blame-game over who’s at fault, with many in the opposition blaming the Maduro government’s mismanagement and notorious corruption, and with pro-regime voices blaming right-wing saboteurs taking orders from the United States.

Caracas has even gone so far to point the finger at Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who only yesterday as part of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing said that the US should promote “widespread unrest” in order to bring down the Maduro government. Though offering no specific proof Caracas officials accused the US and opposition activists of causing “pandemonium” for several days, culminating in the blackout

President Nicolas Maduro gave brief public acknowledgement of the outage on Twitter, saying, “The electricity war declared and directed by the imperialist United States against our people will be overcome!” and added, “No one can defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez. Maximum unity patriots!”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems

Image: U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems
(Natural News) Crammed into a small building in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a group of about 50 cyber security experts and researchers are working around the clock to protect American infrastructure from debilitating attacks.

As The Associated Press reports, much of what goes on at the Idaho National Laboratory, once known as the country’s primary nuclear research facility, isn’t discussed. But what is known is that those who fill the dimmed rooms full of wires, cables, computers, and detection gear are diligently trying to guard against the unthinkable: Attacks on power grids, water treatment facilities, financial institutions, and even traffic lights that could bring large sections of the country to a standstill.

Followed by chaos.

The lab’s director of cybersecurity, Scott Cramer, admits that the task at hand is a difficult one and that the United States is playing catch-up, of sorts. He describes the cybersecurity work as “bolting on” protections for infrastructure control systems that are decades old with the belief that many of them have already been infiltrated by malicious actors — nation-states and non-state actors alike — who are waiting for the time to launch attacks.

“This is no joke — there are vulnerabilities out there,” Cramer told the AP. “We’re pretty much in reaction mode right now.”

That’s not hyperbole. A recently released report from the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council lays out a similarly dire warning. After interviewing “dozens of senior leaders and experts” as well as conducting an in-depth review of existing studies and statues, the NIAC “found that existing national plans, response resources, and coordination strategies would be outmatched by a catastrophic power outage,” the report noted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Reports warn of disabling attacks to U.S. power grid that could wipe out “democracy” and the “world order”

Image: Reports warn of disabling attacks to U.S. power grid that could wipe out “democracy” and the “world order”
(Natural News) A pair of reports released in the past month from two separate federal entities both warn of dire, devastating consequences from the destruction or disabling of a substantial portion of the U.S. power grid.

In late November, the Pentagon released an eye-opening analysis of the effects of a potential  electromagnetic pulse (EMP) stemming from the detonation of a sizable nuclear weapon above the United States. The report by the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force at Air Force University noted that, “Based on the totality of available data, an electromagnetic spectrum attack may be a threat to the United States, democracy, and the world order.”

The report culled information from a mostly classified summit of government officials from 40 agencies who met just outside of Washington, D.C. over the summer and forcefully calls for a new focus by Congress and the Trump administration for making preparations either for an enemy EMP attack or a naturally occurring event such as a major solar storm, the Washington Examiner reported.

Much of the report focuses on the negative effects of an EMP event as it pertains to U.S. military capabilities. However, the report also appears to substantiate a congressional warning from 2017 that claimed up to 90 percent of the population along the East Coast could die within a year of the event.

Citing information from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report said:

— Approximately 99 nuclear reactors would very likely melt down because there would be no electricity to power infrastructure that keeps them cool;

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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