Final Thoughts

This issue of the magazine is focused on Cyber Security – definitely a threat to the electric power industry as seen from the articles you read. But there are other threats that can cause major problems and today it is not clear how we can stop them.

 I am talking about these little buzzing things that fly above us, controlled remotely by people with good or bad intentions. The best-case scenario are the ones that are flying a drone with a camera that follows them and records their wonderful life that they can demonstrate to their envying friends.
A worse case is the ones flying a camera drone to invade other people’s privacy.  Bad people, but they are not the ones I am worried about.
I am worried about the people that have bad intentions. I don’t think it will be possible to cover all categories of people with bad intentions, but I will try to touch briefly on the ones that can cause damage to the electric power grid and its components.

  • The first level is an innocent person who owns a drone but is not very good at controlling it and doesn’t care about the consequences of his lack of ability and proficiency.   So, he is flying it nearby a substation when he suddenly losses control and crashes it into the bushing of a power transformer causing damage that will take it out of service for a long period of time
  • The next level is someone who does not understand the impact of what he is doing on the grid but likes the excitement of fireworks. So, he ties a rope with a connected to it long bare wire and flies it over the substation busbar causing short circuit faults that take out the substation. If he does that after dark, imagine the power that he feels to cause all the flashing in the substation followed by the darkness in the surrounding area. And to achieve that he does not need to know anything about firewalls, communication protocols and cyber security
  • Now the really scary stuff is what can be done by people that have the experience from dropping grenades from drones in the war zones around the world and have an idea of the impact that this may have on the electric power system. This is my nightmare and I don’t even want to think about it
BeijingSifang June 2016