U.S. power grid seen at risk
Members of Congress launched an effort Thursday to protect the nation's electricity grid from criminals, vandals, or U.S. enemies.
According to a story in The Washington Times . key members of Congress launched an effort Thursday to protect the nation's electricity grid from criminals, vandals, or U.S. enemies, who could use the Internet to cripple computers that control the generation and distribution of power.
The effort, led by the chairmen of the House and Senate homeland security committees, follows reports of hackers - possibly working for foreign governments - probing power controls for weaknesses.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to supersede the power industry's self-governing body in setting security standards.
The grid is increasingly dependent on control systems operated over computer networks including the Internet.
In 2007, researchers at the Dept. of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory produced a video illustrating how hackers could destroy a generator by forcing it to operate at speeds that would literally shake it apart - a scenario dubbed the Aurora vulnerability.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey