The Subtle Art of Making Substations Bulletproof

By [email protected] Cyberattacks on the grid get a lot of attention these days, but good old-fashioned kinetic weapons have done more damage to U.S. electrical infrastructure so far.

Utilities across the nation have experienced seemingly random firearm attacks on electrical substations, which can damage or destroy the expensive equipment within. Sometimes it appears to be destructive pranksters; other times the damage looks more premeditated and sinister.

Prominent attacks, like one in 2013 against PG&E’s Metcalf Substation, prompted federal energy regulators in 2014 to create CIP-014, a physical security standard for critical grid infrastructure.

But, as utilities develop defenses and respond to these incidents, they don’t

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