Editor’s note: Joseph Farah is on vacation. The following is a repeat of his popular column of Oct. 19, 2015.
The Department of Homeland Security acknowledges ISIS has been attempting to hack U.S. electrical grids.
Fortunately, to date, we’ve all been very fortunate the attacks have been unsuccessful.
But one day our luck will run out.
That will be a very dark day for America.
What keeps America alive is the electrical grid. If it goes down, for a week or longer, the devastation will be incalculable. Many will die. Some won’t be able to heat their homes. No one will be able to buy gasoline. Offices and businesses close down. Supermarket shelves will be barren. Some, who rely on electric water pumps, won’t even have water in their homes. No lights. No food. No heat. No money. No gasoline.
In other words, for however long such an attack lasts, America reverts back to 19th century existence. And with most Americans totally dependent on electricity as their lifeblood, it’s not a pretty picture.
ISIS is hardly the only threat.
F. Michael Maloof wrote a chilling book a few years ago, “A Nation Forsaken,” about the impact of a grid attack that could come by several means:
- solar flares
- electronic magnetic pulse generated by detonation of a nuclear weapon 100 miles above the Earth
The latter may be the scariest because it could cripple much of the country for a very, very long time. A congressional commission years ago warned it would result in most Americans dying as a result – most from starvation.
Yet the U.S. grid is just as open to attack today as it was when that report came out.
Because fixing it hasn’t been a priority for Washington. It wouldn’t cost much, by comparison with other programs, mind you, but no one has the will to spend the money and protect America from this almost unimaginable catastrophe.
It is widely known in intelligence circles that Iran has practiced detonating missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons in midair. There is only one reason to do that – to create the kind of electromagnetic pulse effect that could wipe out a society dependent on electricity and digital technology. Can you imagine who Iran’s target might be?
If you guessed Israel, you would be wrong. Israel long ago hardened its grid and is said to be quite well-prepared for such an attack.
The U.S. has not prepared.
Does this make you more concerned about Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran? It certainly should. This would not be a strategically difficult mission for Iran if it can secure even just one nuclear device – and it doesn’t have to be a big one. It just needs to be delivered by a missile into the upper atmosphere over the U.S. and detonated.
This is not sophisticated technology. It could be done from a customized Scud missile, available on the black market for a price of $100,000, from a fishing boat off the U.S. coast. Iran already knows how to detonate missiles in mid-air.
It’s also conceivable that it could be done by a terrorist organization like ISIS or al-Qaida. This would be their biggest score ever. They could take down “the Great Satan” just like that.
Rather than crow about the fact that ISIS has been unsuccessful in its efforts to hack the grid, Homeland Security should make its No. 1 priority to make it hack-proof. Remember, we learned a few months ago that the federal government was successfully hacked, compromising the data of every single government employee – both past and present – including intelligence agents, active-duty military personnel, etc.
China is suspected of being behind that successful act of war.
If ISIS isn’t capable of hacking the grid, do we want to bet China isn’t?
Wouldn’t it be better to be safe rather than sorry and just harden the grid?
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].