Out here in "flyover country" we have storms, tornadoes, lightning, wind, ice, and snow. Power outages, while not all that common, are just something we have to deal with. I see big diesel or natural gas generators outside every government building and most businesses. A lot of homeowners I know have their own portable generators. When storms come through someone inevitably loses power, it happens. It can take a few hours to get fixed, in rare and extreme cases it can take days. Life goes on.
What kind of damage could a cyber attack on the electrical grid do? It will be inconvenient certainly. Just this last Monday I had to take a minor detour around some downed power lines while driving to work. On Tuesday the roads were clear and the power back on as far as I could tell. Other than a handful of people in Oklahoma that had travel difficulties it seems everyone went to work on Monday where I work.
I'm just trying to imagine the damage that a successful cyber attack on the power rid might cause. Then I try to imagine that damage as compared to weather out hear in the Great Plains. If people here were even told it was a terror strike then would anyone believe them? How would people act differently?
I'm sure that there are means to harden the power grid from cyber attacks but they would either be prudent also for natural disasters or overkill for such a small risk,
There is already a large number of natural gas generators around here. I'm not sure how much but it sits idle for long periods of time until needed. Data centers are equipped to sell any excess to a utility. There are spares for all kinds of gear. There are a lot of windmills to help along.
If the big boys, nuclear and coal, have to go down then it could take days to come back up. Once they are back to full steam then we know our troubles are over.
What should I be worried about?