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

ARTS AROUND: Last call for cruise ship vendors

Last cruise ship arrives in the Alberni Inlet on July 6

BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses celebrate milestones

RE/MAX Mid-Island moving into new building on Johnston Road

Solda’s Family Restaurant celebrates 50 years in Port Alberni

Restaurant is currently up for sale to “the right buyer”

Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek imposes water restrictions

Stage 1 water restrictions now in effect

Paint your toe for Pride in Port Alberni

Alberni couple launches campaign to show support for the LGBTQ community

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

New RCMP policy is a little hairy

Members now allowed to grow beards and goatees

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s “Infidelity Hotlist”

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Most Read