Power utilities in the U.S. are constantly under daily cyberattacks, according to report (pdf) released Tuesday by Congressmen Ed Markey and Henry Waxman. Out of about 160 utilities surveyed in the 35-page report, more than a dozen reported "daily," "constant," or "frequent" attempted cyberattacks on their computer systems.
"Grid operations and control systems are increasingly automated, incorporate two-way communications, and are connected to the Internet or other computer networks," the report says. "While these improvements have allowed for critical modernization of the grid, this increased interconnectivity has made the grid more vulnerable to remote cyber attacks."
U.S. lawmakers have been ramping up public attention over the past few months about to the need to protect the country's power grid from hackers. If power utilities, water infrastructure, or transportation networks were taken down in a cyberattack, the country's day-today operations could be crippled.