Construction of B.C. Hydro’s Interior-Lower Mainland transmission line at Spuzzum, 2013. (Black Press files)

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. Hydro’s vast electrical grid is considered by international security agencies as part of North America’s “critical infrastructure,” protected against cyberattacks as well as vandalism and terrorism.

A new report by B.C.’s Auditor General finds B.C. Hydro is meeting security standards to prevent the nightmare scenario, a cyberattack that could trigger blackouts across the interconnected continental power grid. But smaller-scale disruptions are still possible and should be addressed, Auditor General Carl Bellringer says.

The audit notes that energy infrastructure is one of the most cyberattacked of all critical infrastructure world-wide.

B.C. Hydro “needs to expand its detection efforts because the standards focus on ensuring reliable operation of the power system as a whole, but don’t cover all components of the system,” Bellringer wrote. “Any components that don’t fall under the mandatory standards may be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and should be monitored.”

READ MORE: B.C. examines new directions for renewable power

READ MORE: B.C. Hydro rates going up after billion-dollar bailout

B.C. Hydro supplies electricity to 95 per cent of B.C. and is essential for the economy, from homes to hospitals to industry. The audit recommends additional detection mechanisms to monitor the rest of the system.

B.C. Hydro responded that it has invested more than $30 million over two years to its cyber and physical security programs, which are kept confidential. The utility accepts the recommendation to extend its monitoring, using a “risk-based approach to prioritize mitigation measures where needed.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RDCK asks province for more powers to regulate private land logging

‘If the province won’t step up, we will have to’

Women, children escaping domestic violence have few options in Nelson

The 11th annual Report Card on Homelessness shows a need for women’s housing

L.V. Rogers awards its top athletes

The high school honoured its athletes last week

Logging protester arrested near Balfour

Jessica Ogden remains in custody until a hearing date is set

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Most Read