Construction of B.C. Hydro’s Interior-Lower Mainland transmission line at Spuzzum, 2013. (Black Press files)

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. Hydro’s vast electrical grid is considered by international security agencies as part of North America’s “critical infrastructure,” protected against cyberattacks as well as vandalism and terrorism.

A new report by B.C.’s Auditor General finds B.C. Hydro is meeting security standards to prevent the nightmare scenario, a cyberattack that could trigger blackouts across the interconnected continental power grid. But smaller-scale disruptions are still possible and should be addressed, Auditor General Carl Bellringer says.

The audit notes that energy infrastructure is one of the most cyberattacked of all critical infrastructure world-wide.

B.C. Hydro “needs to expand its detection efforts because the standards focus on ensuring reliable operation of the power system as a whole, but don’t cover all components of the system,” Bellringer wrote. “Any components that don’t fall under the mandatory standards may be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and should be monitored.”

READ MORE: B.C. examines new directions for renewable power

READ MORE: B.C. Hydro rates going up after billion-dollar bailout

B.C. Hydro supplies electricity to 95 per cent of B.C. and is essential for the economy, from homes to hospitals to industry. The audit recommends additional detection mechanisms to monitor the rest of the system.

B.C. Hydro responded that it has invested more than $30 million over two years to its cyber and physical security programs, which are kept confidential. The utility accepts the recommendation to extend its monitoring, using a “risk-based approach to prioritize mitigation measures where needed.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read