[Cryptography] North Korea and Sony

Henry Baker hbaker1 at pipeline.com
Tue Dec 9 23:08:25 EST 2014

At 11:55 AM 12/9/2014, dan at geer.org wrote:
>"Banks Dreading Computer Hacks Call for Cyber War Council" Bloomberg, July 8, 2014
>  It says the concerns are "compounded by the dependence of financial
>  institutions on the electric grid," which is also vulnerable to
>  physical and cyber attack.

More of Michael Hayden's fear-mongering about the electric grid.


Because the electrical utilities are quickly heading for extinction, they are wrapping themselves in the cyberthreat security blanket in order to thwart distributed solar energy generation and to gain subsidies from the federal Homeland Security teat.  Any such "cyberwashing" money would be far better spent to *accelerate* the inevitable rush to distributed generation to the point that the "critical infrastructure" grid simply isn't "critical" anymore.

Solar panels are the most important element in distributed electric power generation, with the consumer fleet of electric cars (aka "batteries on wheels") providing the resilient distributed storage: "the 40,000 Tesla vehicles already on the US roads contain about 3.3 gigawatts of storage capacity, roughly 0.3% of US electrical production capacity and 14% of US grid storage", according to a February, 2014, Morgan Stanley report.  This combination of cheap local generation and local storage has short-circuited the electrical utility business model and caused demand to melt away.

(BTW, Edison himself originally argued for *distributed* power generation, with a power station every few blocks--a la the telephone exchanges.  While this distributed model was forced by Edison's DC technology, a distributed power generation system would have been far more reliable & resilient than our current long-transmission-line system.)

The U.S. electrical utilities are dinosaurs being killed by kilowatts from outer space.  Rather than embracing these new solar technologies, however, they are fighting them tooth and claw with lobbying, from local zoning regulations to state monopoly commissions to federal regulations.

The latest salvo is a 180-page July 15th 2014 report called "Securing the U.S. Electrical Grid" (aka "Begging for Bailouts") with 12 recommendations to "secure" the electrical grid.  However, as far as I can tell, none of these recommendations will do anything to increase the reliability or resiliency of the electrical grid, but will do much to stymie the progress of solar distributed power generation.  The name of the report should have been "Securing the Profits of the U.S. Electrical Grid against Tesla/Musk and solar panels", as the basic *threat* the electrical utilities were attempting to defend against was *irrelevance* in a distributed solar generation world filled with Leaf's, LED's and LEED's.

The electrical utilities are scare-mongering the politicians and the public with lies like "while more resilient, such smart grid and microgrid systems present significant challenges to grid security."

Indeed, the very first paragraph of the SEG report is electrifying: "Following the end of World War II, the Allied Strategic Bombing Survey—-responsible for determining the damage inflicted by U.S. and Allied strategic bombing of German and Japanese industry—-determined that the bombing campaign would have been more effective if it had targeted the German and Japanese electrical grid rather than urban and industrial centers."

The report then goes on to warn that falling utility profits will not allow significant investments in additional security--including cybersecurity, and that "public-private partnerships" (aka "government bailouts") will be required.

July 15, 2014



Energy, politics, and more

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities

By David Roberts

Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground. 

That is not wild-eyed hippie talk.  It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.

Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press.  That’s a shame.  It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector.  It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence.



Why the U.S. Power Grid's Days Are Numbered
By Chris Martin, Mark Chediak, and Ken Wells August 22, 2013


Why you could soon be buying your electricity from Elon Musk

Written by John McDuling at jmcduling
February 25, 2014


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