In this month’s two-week training exercise, troops across the New England region practiced tackling large-scale simulated violations across critical infrastructure sectors such as electricity, water, and gas.
In this exercise, a large-scale cyberattack targeted utilities on the west coast and then moved eastward across the country.
As in the actual scenario, the National Guard works with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity and infrastructure security agencies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, government agencies such as the US Cybercommand, and utility partners in the private sector. And respond to the crisis.
This crisis was a simulation, but such attacks are becoming more and more possible.
A recent series of catastrophic attacks has sent warning signs about the risks that cybersecurity breaches can pose to the country’s infrastructure.
When the Colonial Pipeline was targeted by hackers in May, it had to shut down its entire network, which carries 45% of all fuel to the East Coast, causing a nationwide fuel crisis with rising gas prices.
A few weeks later, the food supply chain was hit when hackers led to a four-day closure of a factory belonging to America’s largest beef supplier, JBS.
After the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline shook the country’s fuel supply, the National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack that shuts down utilities across the United States.