When discussing the threat that a cyber attack on the nation's power grid, the first thing most people think of is the risk of a black out. But a recent software glitch at Dominion Power revealed that the risk is much higher. On Wednesday September 20, 2017, a power surge at a single Dominion Power substation caused by an "internal software issue" resulted in four fires and more than 40 calls to the James City County Fire Department.
Dominon Power hasn't released any answers at this time as to the nature of that internal software issue and has not indicated if it was the result of a cybersecurity breach. With the limited scope of the damage, it is likely that this was not a cyber attack. However, there are no laws requiring that Dominion Power report this if it were due to a security breach.
This does highlight how important cyber security is to our nation's power grid. If a limited software issue required the fire department to respond to 44 calls for service and put out four fires, it is not hard to imagine the havoc that could occur if there were a wide-spread cyber attack.