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Wrong Scott Aaronson?

Scott I. Aaronson

Senior Director of National Security Policy

Edison Electric Institute

HQ Phone:  (202) 508-5000

Direct Phone: (202) ***-****direct phone

Email: s***@***.org

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

Edison Electric Institute

701 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia,20004

United States

Company Description

EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly and indirectly support more than 1 million jobs. E...more

Web References(69 Total References)


INDUSTRY COALITION URGES SPECIFIC AGENDA TO NIST ON CYBER SECURITY FRAMEWORK

www.isalliance.org [cached]

Scott Aaronson - Senior Director National Security Policy, EEI, SAaronson@eei.org / (202) 508-5481


EIS Council | Black Sky Initiative

eiscouncil.org [cached]

Scott Aaronson, managing director for cyber and infrastructure security at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), stated in testimony that a consortium of U.S. electric companies is working with the Energy Department to study how to protect power grids from a nuclear blast-produced electromagnetic pulse attack or solar flares that could damage transformers and other electric components and shut down power for millions of Americans.
"There are a lot of threats to the grid ... from squirrels to nation states," Aaronson said in testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. "And frankly, there have been more blackouts as a result of squirrels [gnawing wire insulation] than there are from nation states." The hearing was called to examine threats to critical infrastructure ranging from cyber attacks and criminal activities to terrorist sabotage and nation state nuclear attacks. Aaronson, whose institute represents all investor-owned U.S. electric companies, said in testimony that electromagnetic pulse is a concern and could be caused by a high-altitude nuclear blast or a directed energy weapon. The Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, a group of chief executives from 21 electric companies and nine major industry associations, is working with the Energy Department to examine the threat. Aaronson, the council's secretary, stated that the threat study is based on research done by the Pentagon and national laboratories. "This project is designed to enhance our understanding of system impact should such an attack occur and to explore the effectiveness of mitigation strategies, including hardening and recovery," Aaronson said in prepared testimony. Aaronson did not say what steps should be taken to protect or harden the grid against EMP strikes. Aaronson said the main threat to the electric grid is the disruption of the power transmission system involving some 35,000 substations that he described as a "soft target." "The threats continue to evolve," he said. Another vulnerability in the electric grid involves the 200 to 700 large power transformers that if damaged or destroyed would disrupt power for long periods. Aaronson said that if these transformers were damaged by cyber or physical attacks or EMP, they could be replaced by stockpiled spare transformers. In addition to the Spare Transformer Equipment Program, other methods can be used to share equipment in the event transformers are knocked out, he said. Replacing a large transformer could take up to 18 months and would have to be procured from foreign suppliers, although Aaronson said that "under duress there are ways to procure transformers more quickly." Electric grid vulnerabilities were highlighted by the Dec. 23 cyber attack against Ukraine's power grid that left 700,000 people without power for six hours. Aaronson said one of the lessons of the Ukraine grid attack was to shift away from remotely controlled equipment to manual operations. "So this rush to automation is great because it gives us wonderful efficiencies. But it also increases the attack surface," he said. Restoring power after an attack could involve operating power grids "sub-optimally" and prioritizing electricity to hospitals, first responders, and military installations. Solar magnetic disturbances have impacted the electric power grid, specifically at high latitudes, but for negligible periods of time. "It is inaccurate to say that a single geomagnetic disturbance would have a universal and unilateral impact across the entire grid," A group focused on the EMP threat, the Foundation for Resilient Societies, disagrees with Aaronson and the Edison Electric Institute on the EMP threat.


EIS Council

www.eiscouncil.org [cached]

Cauley's other panelists - SPP Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Security Officer Barbara Sugg; Scott Aaronson, the Edison Electric Institute's executive director for security and business continuity; and Chris Beck, chief scientist and vice president for policy for the Electric Infrastructure Security Council - generally agreed.
"I don't think any of us today are saying it's 100% under control," responded Aaronson, speaking on behalf of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council.


EIS Council | Summits

www.eiscouncil.org [cached]

• Scott Aaronson, Executive Director, Security and Business Continuity,Edison Electric Institute


Nuclear industry says no impact seen from hacking campaign - Fifth Domain | Cyber

fifthdomain.com [cached]

Scott Aaronson, executive director for security for the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned power companies, says there has been no impact to systems controlling power grids.
He say the threat was unrelated to this week's ransomware attack against companies around the world.


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