Bloomberg: Moore attack shows power grid still ‘extremely vulnerable’

Workers work on equipment at the West End Substation, at 6910 NC Hwy 211 in West End, N.C., Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, where a serious attack on critical infrastructure has caused a power outage to many around Southern Pines, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

RALEIGH — The attacks that left two electrical substations riddled with gunfire and knocked out power to 45,000 homes and businesses underscores the fragility of US grids, experts told Bloomberg News. 

“From this incident, it appears that the electrical grid continues to be extremely vulnerable,” said Jon Wellinghoff, chief executive officer of GridPolicy Consulting Inc. and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulator Commission. 

While power grids are regular targets of cyber attacks, major physical assaults on the systems are rare. The incident underscores how when successful, such strikes can have widespread consequences, according to the outlet. 

There have been nine physical attacks on the U.S. electrical grid so far this year, along with 60 acts of vandalism, according to U.S. Department of Energy data. The agency, which reported slightly lower numbers for the previous three years, defines physical attacks as those that disrupt grid operations or have intent to harm national security.