Tuesday, April 7, 2009

US Officials Confirm Electrical Grid Hacked by Chinese, Russian Spies

The Wall Street Journal is breaking a story tonight that Chinese and Russian spies have penetrated the US electrical grid, and have been doing so for a year or more. There are even indications that the spies left malware in place giving them the ability to destroy certain parts of the infrastructure at a future date. Water, sewage, and other infrastructure systems are also reported to be at risk.

This is not a conspiracy theory. This is being reported in the Wall Street Journal and confirmed by "senior intelligence officials." This is as credible as any threat information we're ever going to get that isn't directly observed by our own eyes and ears.

Here's what I take away from this:
  1. China and Russia are not our friends and it's time we stopped pretending they were.
  2. This underscores the importance of having redundant systems. If the grid goes down, those who have backup generators, woodburning stoves, access to solar or wind power, stores of gasoline, and tools that do not require electricity in order to run will be far, far ahead of the game. (It also makes them a target of the sweaty, starving masses, but let's handle one problem at a time.)
  3. It's not a question of capabilities. Other countries have the means to seriously mess with our way of life and already view us with great animosity for any number of reasons. All they lack is sufficient provocation, whether real or imagined. Therefore it is more profitable for the reader to view these scenarios as a question of "when" rather than "if."

Here are some resources for living off the grid, either by choice or necessity:

Solar Power Your Home for Dummies

ClearDome Parabolic Solar Cooker

Sun Oven

Cooking with Sunshine by Lorraine Anderson and Rick Palkovic

How to Live Without Electricity and Like It by Anita Evangelista

Lehman's Online Catalog

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

The New Woodburner's Handbook by Stephen Bushway

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