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

Thunderstorms, hail expected in Elk Valley tonight

Thunderstorms and hail are expected to impact the Elk Valley within the… Continue reading

Veterans, supporters gather to celebrate Legion Day

Submitted Fernie Legion Branch 36 On June 29th, laughter, applause, conversation and… Continue reading

Komatsu announces plans for $40M, 85k-square-foot facility in Sparwood

Komatsu Mining Corp. has announced plans to develop a new 85,000-square-foot sales… Continue reading

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

An individual has died after the dump truck they were driving went… Continue reading

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Nelson’s net-zero ready house is a glimpse into B.C.’s future

One local builder set out to construct the province’s ideal energy efficient home

Most Read