King Pushes for Bill Aimed at Preventing Power Grid Cyber Attack

Jun 7, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King is co-sponsoring a bill that would seek a way to prevent the kind of cyber attack that blacked out part of Ukraine last December. King described the incident in a speech on the Senate floor.

"The operator in one of the Ukranian power plants noticed, to his horror, that he no longer controlled the cursor on his computer screen," King said. "The cursor moved of its own accord and starting opening dialog boxes and opening breakers."

King said 230,000 Ukranians were blacked out for some six hours. King said only the presence of analog switches and manual breakers enabled Ukranian power workers to restore service as soon as they did.

The bill that King, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, and two others are backing would have utilities and national labs look into creating simpler, manual ways to restore power in the event computerized systems here are hacked.