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Washington Post: House Democrats’ report says power grid is vulnerable to attacks

A House Democrat this week released a report that could help resurrect bipartisan legislation he sponsored three years ago to protect the nation’s power grid from cyber attacks and other threats.

The analysis, spearheaded by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and released Tuesday, says a lack of compliance with voluntary security standards has made the electric grid ”highly vulnerable to attacks from Iran and North Korea” and additional dangers such as geomagnetic storms from solar activity.

In 2010, Markey introduced the GRID Act, which would have given the federal government greater authority to impose standards on electric utilities. That proposal, cosponsored by Rep. Mike Upton (R-Mich.), passed the House but never made its way out of committee in the Senate.

Markey is renewing his efforts to enact grid-security legislation. His report — which surveyed more than 150 utilities, cooperatives and federal entities owning major pieces of the electric system — showed that the power network is the target of daily cyber attacks, with one utility saying it faced 10,000 attempted attacks each month.