A group of hackers has targeted the U.S. power grid over the past several months but has so far been unable to trigger any outages or other incidents, a cybersecurity firm said in an analysis Friday.
The company, Dragos, has been tracking the hacker group known as Xenotime or the Triton actor for months as it scans the U.S. electrical grid looking for weaknesses. The group is known for its Triton malware, which was responsible for disabling the cybersecurity systems at Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh oil refinery in 2017.
Dragos called the Triton malware the “most dangerous threat to” industrial control systems.
The cybersecurity company said so far the hacker group has been unable to access any power grid systems. The scanning could be an indication of an attack to come, though, especially since the hackers have been successful in Saudi Arabia.
“Xenotime expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety — and thus integrity — to fulfill its mission,” a Dragos blog postsaid.
The company encouraged U.S. electrical companies to boost their cybersecurity to prevent a potential future attack.
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is the most pressing threat facing the modern world right now. It could happen from a nuclear bomb, an EMP weapon,EMP & CYBER ATTACK or it could happen from a solar flare.
In fact, IT HAS HAPPENED in the past and it is just a matter of time before it happens again.
Steps to Take Immediately After EMP
1. Group with Your Family/Team-The first thing to do is get in contact with all of your family members or team members. Hopefully you already have a communication plan in place, and have run drills on it.
Remember that your cell phones and landline phones might not work.
You will need to have a backup communication system, such as two-way radios which you keep in EMP bags (which should protect against the blast).Cars will probably work after an EMP blast. But they might not.So also have a plan about how your family will gather at the meeting spot.
2. Gather Info- Before you go Bug Out in the wilderness or start building a fortress around your house, you need to determine how bad the EMP blast was.
One simple way of gathering info is simply to look outside.
Do you see any lights on?
Can you still hear traffic flowing?
Are there any signs of chaos?
You’ll also want to try all of your devices. Test the cell phone that you’ve got in an EMP bag and try to call someone across town. If you can’t reach anyone across town, try a contact which is across the state, and then across the country.
You should also have a radio in your EMP bag. You can turn it on and get updates about the disaster – assuming the EMP hasn’t taken out all stations in range of your radio.
3. Bug Out or Hunker Down?– Based on the info you gather, you will have to decide whether it is better to Bug Out to some remote location, or to Hunker Down (stay put).
For most people, it will probably be better to Hunker Down. It will simply be too difficult to travel long distances with your family/team and then live off of your wits. If you are going to Bug Out though, you better do it quickly! Get out before gangs of looters start attacking, and before the roads get too congested. Grab your Bug Out Bag and GO!
If you do decide to stay, then follow the next steps to take after EMP:
4. Hunkering Down Steps-These are the steps to follow if you decide to stay put at home instead of Bugging Out into the wilderness or a survival retreat.
Buy Supplies: The stores will likely still be working for a while after EMP. Go and spend all the cash you have on supplies. Hopefully you already have food and water stockpiled (see this list of what to stockpile), because the supermarket is going to be crazy. Instead, use your cash to buy other supplies like tools, wood (for boarding up your home), buckets, and first aid items. Also stock up on barter items.
Fill Up Water: You should have water stockpiled, but it isn’t going to be enough! Take the extra step of filling up your bathtub with water, and filling up any empty bottles you have in the house with water. The water might not be working much longer!
DO NOT DRINK TAP WATER: Don’t drink tap water without purifying it first! This applies to non-EMP blackouts as well. During power blackouts, the water treatment plants can’t operate and diseased water might come through the taps.
Get In Contact with Your Neighbors: Even if you think you can “lone wolf” it, you are better off with your neighbors on your side. Strength in numbers! I’ve already talked to my neighbors about disaster planning and we’ve got a community plan in place. If you don’t, then you will want to quickly go over to your neighbors and calmly tell them what to expect. You’ll need them on your side instead of banging at your door to steal your supplies!
Take Stock of Your Gear: Unless you’ve built a large Faraday cage, probably a good deal of your gear is unprotected and might have been damaged by the EMP. Take stock of it all and see what works.
Start Building Your Defenses: In any wide-scale disaster, one of the first things to happen is looting. Don’t wait a second longer than necessary to protect your home by boarding up windows, securing doors, and setting up weapons and other defenses.
Are you taking steps to prepare for EMP? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion on Facebook.