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.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.