Cyber-terrorist attack on U.S. electrical grid could be "gravest short term threat" to national security

Cyber-terrorists could target the U.S. electrical grid and throw the nation into chaos, lawmakers warned at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee. There are "many PhDs" inside Al Qaeda, and cyber-spies have already infiltrated the electricity system.

The crux of the problem: the electric grid increasingly uses off-the-shelf software that runs via the Internet, and the feds don't have the power, or enough of a plan, to secure this resource. And let's not get into the subject of nuclear power plants.

Says Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ):

The sobering reality is this vulnerability, if left unaddressed, could have grave, societal-altering consequences. We face a menace that may represent the gravest short term threat to the peace and security of the human family in the world today.

[via ABC News and WSJ]