Five universities have partnered and collaborated to establish the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium. The consortium is organized around the Community Cyber Security Maturity Model (CCSMM) that emphasizes cyber-security as being the responsibility of the "whole community". The whole community includes the public and private sectors as well as any individual within the community who accesses the internet or a computer network. The consortium members include The Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), The Texas Engineering Extension Service in the Texas A & M University system, U of Memphis, The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), University of Arkansas System, and Norwich University.
A huge solar superstorm fries hundreds of high-voltage transformers, shutting down the nation’s electrical power grid. A hostile nation or a group of terrorists detonates a nuclear weapon above the U.S. atmosphere, raining gamma rays and causing massive blackouts.
While these sound like sci-fi movie plots, some scientists and government officials think either scenario could actually occur and end up disabling the country’s electrical grid for weeks, months or years, leaving telecommunications and emergency services severely disrupted and affecting the food supply, sanitation and drinking water.
A contractor walks through an electrical transmission substation in Ohio. (AP photo)
(CNSNews.com) – Two weeks after North Korea threatened to launch nuclear strikes against the U.S., the Government Accountability Office(GAO) reported that the federal government has still not implemented all of the recommendations made eight years ago to prevent catastrophic blackouts caused by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
The recommendations were made in 2008 by the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electro-Magnetic Pulse Attack (EMP Commission).
Fuel shortages and heavy traffic snarled the evacuation of all 80,000 residents from the western Canadian city of Fort McMurray on Wednesday as a wildfire raged out of control, destroying much of one neighborhood and badly damaging others.
Firefighters in Fort McMurray, located in the northeastern part of the province of Alberta in the heart of Canada's oil sands region, confronted another tough day as hot, dry weather made it difficult to bring the fire under control.
Texas State Senator Bob Hall hosted a summit on electric grid security. State and national experts addressed critical security concerns from high-impact threats that could cause a nationwide critical infrastructure collapse for a month or more. The summit addressed the Texas electric grid’s vulnerability to electromagnetic pulse (EMP), geomagnetic solar storms, and the interplay of cyber-attacks; discuss emergency preparedness and emerging protective technologies; and highlighted state and federal legislative EMP protection and electric grid security efforts.
Texas A&M University is spending an estimated $150 million to build a 2,000-acre research and education campus just west of its College Station location. Officials released these renderings on May 2, 2017.
Texas A&M will spend $150 million building a 2,000-acre research park and education center on an old air base just west of its main campus between Houston and Austin, college officials announced Monday. University officials are planning to entice private companies specializing in robotics, autonomous vehicles, chemical safety to set up research and development operations in the research park to get new products ready for the commercial marketplace. For example, the research campus hopefully will be a place to test driverless cars, drones and other autonomous vehicles, university officials said.
For the first time, a robust, low-cost and portable technology deployed using drones can be used to monitor and control infectious disease outbreaks in remote locations, says Texas A&M University researcher, Dr. Victor Ugaz, who has built the instrument. By eliminating the need for samples collected in the field to be transported to distant laboratories for analysis by specialized personnel, this instrument can accelerate diagnosis, enable pinpoint delivery of therapeutics and help provide real-time data to better inform decision making.
The lab-on-a-drone technology not only transports medical test kits and samples to and from areas that have limited or no access to a lab infrastructure, it also can perform the diagnostic tests during flight, according to Ugaz, professor, holder of the Charles D. Holland ’53 Professorship and the Thaman Professorship, associate department head in Texas A&M’s Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering.
Texas State Senator Bob Hall cordially invites you to attend a summit on electric grid security. Hear from state and national experts as they address critical security concerns from high-impact threats that could cause a nationwide critical infrastructure collapse for a month or more. This summit will address the Texas electric grid’s vulnerability to electromagnetic pulse (EMP), geomagnetic solar storms, and the interplay of cyber-attacks; discuss emergency preparedness and emerging protective technologies; and highlight state and federal legislative EMP protection and electric grid security efforts.
US House Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing 10:00am EST today
The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will meet on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building for a hearing titled “Blackout! Are We Prepared to Manage the Aftermath of a Cyber-Attack or Other Failure of the Electrical Grid?” The purpose of the hearing is twofold: 1. To explore the risks, vulnerabilities and consequences of a prolonged, widespread power outage and understand the primary federal roles, authorities and resources available to help communities, particularly at the local level, manage the aftermath of such a disaster; and 2. To assess the efforts and coordination among the participants—public, private and non-profit—in the electrical power sector, including planning, preparedness and mitigation efforts, response and recovery capabilities, information sharing, and standards setting. The Subcommittee will receive testimony from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and a representative from the electrical industry
Three months after a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report downplayed the threat of a cyber attack against the U.S. electrical grid, DHS and the FBI began a nationwide program warning of the dangers faced by U.S. utilities from damaging cyber attacks like the recent hacking against Ukraine’s power grid.
The nationwide campaign by DHS and the FBI began March 31 and includes 12 briefings and online webinars for electrical power infrastructure companies and others involved in security, with sessions in eight U.S. cities, including a session next week in Washington.
The unclassified briefings are titled “Ukraine Cyber Attack: Implications for U.S. Stakeholders,” and are based on work with the Ukrainian government in the aftermath of the Dec. 23 cyber attack against the Ukrainian power infrastructure.