In the late 1970s, James Burke hosted a series called "Connections". In the United States, it was generally something broadcast and re-broadcast on various PBS - Public Broadcasting Station(s).
In the above video by James Burke, we see what the "Trigger Effect" of what a major black-out can have on a population.
By comparative example, on August 14, 2003, the Northeast of the United States, and parts of Eastern Canada were hit by a computer initiated blackout http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=2003-blackout-five-years-later
that rivaled the 1965 blackout featured by James Burke in his 1978 series.
A Comprehensive study and report was made on the August 14, 2003 black-out, and the specified problem then was Computer vulnerabilities.
On Page 11 of the pdf., you will notice the map showing the 140 main power points within the 10 regions of Utility Operations in the lower 48 United States as of 2003.
FirstEnergy (FE) consists of seven electric utility operating companies, and the report will generally concern itself with Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Penn Power when referring to “FE” in this report.
EMS: An energy management system is a computer control system used by electric utility dispatchers to monitor the real time performance of various elements of an electric system and to control generation and transmission facilities.
SCADA: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system; a system of remote control and telemetry used to monitor and control the electric system.
FE’s Computer Failures:
14:14 EDT to 15:59 EDT
Overview of This Phase
Starting around 14:14 EDT, FE’s control room operators lost the alarm function that provided audible and visual indications when a significant piece of equipment changed from an acceptable to a problematic condition. Shortly thereafter, the EMS system lost a number of its remote control consoles. Next it lost the primary server computer that was hosting the alarm function, and then the backup server such that all functions that were being supported on these servers were stopped at
14:54 EDT. However, for over an hour no one in FE’s control room grasped that their computer systems were not operating properly, even though FE’s Information Technology support staff knew of the problems and were working to solve them, and the absence of alarms and other symptoms offered many clues to the operators of the EMS system’s impaired state. Thus, without a functioning EMS or the knowledge that it had failed, FE’s system operators remained unaware that their electrical system condition was beginning to
degrade. Unknowingly, they used the outdated system condition information they did have to discount information from others about growing system problems.
Key Events in This Phase
2A) 14:14 EDT: FE alarm and logging software failed. Neither FE’s control room operators nor FE’s IT EMS support personnel were aware of the alarm failure.
2B) 14:20 EDT: Several FE remote EMS consoles failed. FE’s Information Technology (IT) engineer was computer auto-paged.
2C) 14:27:16 EDT: Star-South Canton 345-kV transmission line tripped and successfully reclosed.
2D) 14:32 EDT: AEP called FE control room about AEP indication of Star-South Canton 345-kV line trip and reclosure. FE had no alarm or log of this line trip.
2E) 14:41 EDT: The primary FE control system server hosting the alarm function failed. Its applications and functions were passed over to a backup computer. FE’s IT engineer was auto-paged.
2F) 14:54 EDT: The FE back-up computer failed and all functions that were running on it stopped. FE’s IT engineer was auto-paged.
Failure of FE’s Alarm System FE’s computer SCADA alarm and logging software failed sometime shortly after 14:14 EDT (the last time that a valid alarm came in), after voltages had begun deteriorating but well before any of FE’s lines began to contact trees and trip out. After that time, the FE control room consoles did not receive any further alarms, nor were there any alarms being printed or posted on the EMS’s alarm logging facilities.
Power system operators rely heavily on audible and on-screen alarms, plus alarm logs, to reveal any significant changes in their system’s conditions. After 14:14 EDT on August 14, FE’s operators were working under a significant handicap without these tools. However, they were in further jeopardy because they did not know that they were operating without alarms, so that they did not realize that system conditions were changing.
Alarms are a critical function of an EMS, and EMS-generated alarms are the fundamental means by which system operators identify events on the power system that need their attention. Without alarms, events indicating one or more significant system changes can occur but remain undetected by the operator. If an EMS’s alarms are absent, but operators are aware of the situation and the remainder of the EMS’s functions are intact, the operators can potentially continue to use the EMS to monitor and exercise control of their power system.
In such circumstances, the operators would have to do so via repetitive, continuous manual scanning of numerous data and status points located within the multitude of individual displays available within their EMS. Further, it would be difficult for the operator to identify quickly the most relevant of the many screens available.
In the same way that an alarm system can inform operators about the failure of key grid facilities, it
can also be set up to alarm them if the alarm system itself fails to perform properly. FE’s EMS did not have such a notification system.
During the years of 2002 - 2005, it was already known that 61% of the Utilities Computerized system problems were EXTERNALLY caused, presumably hackers as well as inclement weather which includes high winds and lightning strikes, and that number of externally caused incidents was increasing with each year.
As technology grows, so does the off-site access to SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) because they are designing its control that way to save on labor as a means of excuse of increased efficiency. Unfortunately, there is a higher associated cost of new technology transfer and repair, decreased direct access human oversight security that is relegated over to computer software being correctly programmed to sound off its bells and whistles alarms; and with this decreased oversight efficiency for computer high tech stream-lining people out of jobs, engaging in the known risk of enabling the ability of hackers to access SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) by mimicking a limited but now obtainable field of authorized active employee LAN logo-on accounts through too many potential and actual unsecured off-site access points into the system that are best left not named off or even hinted at.
Even with the aftermath of 9/11/2001, and the changing political environment that began shifting to a new reliance and counter-hacking activity in the growing Internet technology boom, reports even in 2002, though written in regard to nation states pursuing cyber-warfare, were still yet to be foolishly downplayed in the tone of the language used --
for example, a 2002 Center For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report on page 2 states that:
"A preliminary review of these factors suggests that computer network vulnerabilities are an increasingly serious business problem but that their threat to national security is overstated." http://www.steptoe.com/publications/231a.pdf
-- so that someone who is not internally motivated on the subject, might not be externally motivated to put into action what he ought to be doing for our National Security. However, in just 2 years, the mood had changed to one based more in reality as seen through a 2004 Dartmouth Institute For Security Technologies Report http://www.ists.dartmouth.edu/docs/cyberwarfare.pdf
In 2009, another major Northeast Coast power blackout occurred, this time allegedly from a bolt of lightning, http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-568422.html which could just as well be recreated another way, with much the same results, if terrorists or rogue elements within the U.S. Government loyal to Obama over any other loyalty (such as the Constitution WITH the Bill of Rights intact) have a mind to.
In 2011, we read of hackers shutting down the primary pumps at a water utilities plant here in the United States at a location just west of Springfield, Illinois on November 8 of that year: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/18/us-cybersecurity-attack-idUSTRE7AH2C320111118
Soon after, a hacker just trying to make a point on U.S. vulnerability, hacked the internal computers at a waste-water treatment facility in Houston Texas, "South Houston" to be precise, and was reported to have posted a scathing one page rebuke about utility computer vulnerabilities and to have also utilized screenshots which he posted to prove their point: http://www.earthtimes.org/business/water-systems-hacked-illinois-texas/1644/
The Federal Government during the Bush Administration in 2007 was trying to address some of this industry flaws, as hackers even in January 2008, were reported by the Media to (even then) be a growing threat to potentially create mega-shutdown initiated disasters:
The Bush administration is increasingly worried about the little-understood risks from hackers to the specialized electronic equipment that operates power, water and chemical plants.
In a test last year, the Homeland Security Department produced a video showing commands quietly triggered by simulated hackers having such a violent reaction that an enormous generator shudders as it flies apart and belches black-and-white smoke.
The recorded demonstration, called the "Aurora Generator Test," was conducted in March by government researchers investigating a dangerous vulnerability in computers at U.S. utility companies known as supervisory control and data acquisition systems.
The programming flaw was fixed, and equipment makers urged utilities to take protective measures.
A fairly comprehensive list for the layman reading up on cyber-warfare may be found at: http://staff.washington.edu/dittrich/cyberwarfare.html
And while Military site references could be cited here, it is not feasible for me to portal the access to such references as those. I would much rather side with discretion, even though it is easy enough to pull the same information and links up over the internet.
As we know, as of February 2013 the Chinese have most of an entire building that its Government operates as a hacking base in Shanghai. http://www.brianroysinput.blogspot.com/2013/02/of-interest-peoples-liberation-army.html
In the China Daily News, some 6 months after the event, they too did a story and had watched the video of the United States "Aurora Generator Test". Of interest is a quote near the end of the China Daily News article of a Security Expert who states:
"What keeps your lights on are some very, very old technology," said Joe Weiss, a security expert who has testified before Congress about such threats. "If you can get access to these systems, you can conceptually cause them to do whatever it is you want them to do."
On July 6, 2012, no matter what happens to the rest of the nation, the Obama Administration, before carrying out an all-out assault on the population for a totalitarian power grab must first ensure it has alternate to Internet kill-switch and black-out communications technologies and capabilities in place.
When we remove the Military and Intelligence Services of the United States away from a Cold War 2 mentality and a rigid demand of security and secrecy to protect its own citizens against foreign enemies, we lose our edge to both foreign and domestic enemies of this great nation (like Obama and a great many supporting him) perfecting willing and eagerly looking to exploit such a weakness or vulnerability. Through Obama's START Treaty, the United States unilaterally gave its most vital nuclear missile technologies over to the Russians while unilaterally stripping nukes and counting bombers, launchers, and submarines, all nuke free, as if atomic weaponry. At this stage, we have no accountability as to how many nukes are currently truly in the U.S. Arsenal, because the same lying Government that fabricates a 7% Unemployment numbers claim for a population about 17.2% out of work, and can't tell the truth even after getting caught in open exposure of their lies, is in charge of those numbers regarding the nukes.
WE THE PEOPLE as citizens of the United States, can only hope that there is some kind of Joint Chiefs and Congressional Oversight accountability that is pushing off a full zeroing out of the nuclear defenses of the United States Military to a post Obama date so that we can at least have some capacity to prevent the prospects of an enemy first strike as being a joyful and virtually militarily painless option of America's enemies.
But that is the place we as citizens of the United States are at...a place where the Federal Government is so corrupted, that our own Government is training as if its greatest assets -- its citizens -- are the enemy, and that the enemy that wants to destroy them, are somehow now best friends who won't kill or destroy them when the opportunity presents itself later on.
Further than the Constitutional TREASON sharing America's nuclear missile technologies, the Obama Administration has also committed TREASON when it shared the electro-magnetic vulnerabilities of the United States first with Russian military troops on U.S. soil (in Colorado) in 2012,
and then with Chinese Army Troops on U.S. soil (in Hawaii) in November 2013
by inviting the foreign adversarial or enemy forces of the Chinese Army to observe first-hand a top secret operation of a simulated nuclear explosion designed to destroy the U.S. Utility and Communications grids over the Continental U.S.,
even though the Chinese Army have specifically and PUBLICLY gone on record in the past couple years that they wish to soon use this very tactic to destroy the United States by an inferred sneak attack upon us.
And in December 2013, Congress was informed by at least 2 Constitutional experts that Obama is indeed usurping power unconstitutionally as if he were "above the law".
Obama and his fellow Democrat - Democratic Socialist - Socialist - Communist - and Islamo-terrorist supporters inside the Federal Government have squandered more than 1 trillion to 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars annually for each year of Obama's "Continuing Resolution refusing to pass a budget" Congress.
It must be remembered that the entire infrastructure of the electronic power-grid is computerized, and growingly off-site internet access controlled, while Obama's Democrats for Dictatorship Congress wasted massive trillion dollar wasteful throwing money away and cronyism debt increases, in 2009 (the first year of multi-trillion dollar deficits through a Concurring Resolution Democrats for Dictatorship Congress refusing to pass a national budget), it would have THEN (in 2009) have only taken 1 to 1.1 trillion dollars to fully upgrade our nation's power-grids, and about another trillion dollars to secure and upgrade our nation's fresh-water supplies for the next 50 to 60 years. That would have been a more justified use (rather than near total waste now already mis-spent) $2 trillion of the Obama and Obama Democrats for Dictatorship 6 trillion plus dollars of wasteful debt spending in his first illegal 4 year term. But instead, Obama screws off or sabotages the U.S.A. any way he can, and then freaks out, literally, anytime someone "dare" bring up even a hint that he should take responsibility and act like a mature adult.
Think I'm exaggerating? Just go to a dollar store or a library and pick up a copy of Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars (NY: Simon & Schuster, (c) 2010) and turn to page 222 in that hardcover edition. Even Woodward, famous for his involvement breaking the Watergate Scandals in the Washington Post regarding President Richard Nixon, reveals that if even Hillary Clinton uses the word "you" to Obama in any way that means he (Obama) must accept responsibility, as in the use of the words "the dilemma you face". Upon which Obama and his "yes-men" (in that case Gibbs and Holbrooke) go absolutely ballistic being offended by just that one word: "you". It's as if the White House and Obama line is: How dare Hillary or anybody else demand Obama accept responsibility? Don't you know that Obama demands he be irresponsible as President? To demand Obama accept responsibility is racist! Only "white people" as President of the United States need to be responsible. How dare you even suggest Obama be responsible about anything he does? If he launches a nuclear war for just the hell of it, you damn well better never suggest he was EVER responsible! Blame Bush or the Republicans, but don't you ever dare tell Obama he needs to be responsible ever again! That is the attitude of Obama and those who surround Obama. And the pushing of demanding Obama to take responsibility for his foul ups and screwing everything up is Obama's weakness.
give America the flip-off as if his followers are exempt.
The failure of the economy under Obama is on Obama. While the Labor Statistics are fabricated as circa 7% from a national circa 17.2% or higher unemployment, and the lies keep getting bigger and/or more frequent as if lying to others is the same as breathing to those who support and defend Obama as if it is a hypnotic trigger everytime Obama's name is mentioned, instead of conceding what the ff. spliced together video shows,
the Obama zealots demand Obama do what he does in the below picture:
give America the flip-off as if his followers are exempt.
We need to stress we do NOT want Obama to do something else to "fix" anything. He needs to understand he is to be legally and peacefully impeached, imprisoned, and so forth; and the drive of the American Public in a legal and peaceful push-back calling for his impeachment and the dissolving of his illegal Presidency and voiding it out, should be to also be constantly making Obama accept responsibility with the word "YOU", a word which drives Obama nuts; and true Conservatives or Constitutionalists and Independents ought to exploit that political Achilles heel of Obama's.