Scientific American on power grid cyber attacks keeping the Pentagon up at night:
Defending the power grid as a whole is challenging from an organizational point of view. There are about 3,200 utilities, all of which operate a portion of the electricity grid, but most of these individual networks are interconnected.
The US Government has set up numerous efforts to help protect the US from cyberattacks. With regard to the grid specifically, there is the Department of Energy’s Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP) and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) programs in which utilities voluntarily share information that allows patterns and methods of potential attackers to be identified and securely shared.
On the technology side, the National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST) and IEEE are working on smart grid and other new technology standards that have a strong focus on security. Various government agencies also sponsor research into understanding the attack modes of malware and better ways to protect systems.
But the gravity of the situation really comes to the forefront when you realize that the Department of Defense has stood up a new command to address cyberthreats, the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). Now in addition to land, sea, air, and space, there is a fifth command: cyber.