As hackers get smarter, America’s energy industry is shoring up its defenses


America is under attack. Every day, we’re besieged by a group of enemy combatants. Nameless, faceless, and spread throughout the world, this group is united by a single aim: to upend American life as we know it.

These attackers are not soldiers or terrorists in the traditional sense. They are hackers, on a mission to cause as much disruption and destruction as they can. One of their central targets is our nation’s energy grid, specifically the sprawling network of oil and gas pipelines that help power homes and businesses across America.

A successful cyber-attack on these pipelines would spell disaster. Fortunately, the energy industry and the federal government have joined forces to keep us safe and keep the lights on.

America’s 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines — enough to circle the globe 100 times — operate around the clock to provide Americans with reliable, affordable energy. Almost every part of this expansive network, including pressure monitors and control valves, is controlled by electronic management systems. If hackers gain control of these systems, they could easily cause explosions and fires, putting not just the pipelines, but the lives of the people who operate them, in danger.

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Source: The Gilmer Mirror