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  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ERCOT, power grid, , ,   

    Scammers take advantage of Texas power problem 

    Scammers take advantage of Texas power problem

    By Greg Collier

    Currently, most of the country is experiencing record-breaking cold weather. Probably the state that’s been the hardest hit by the below freezing temperatures is Texas. Millions of Texas residents have been without power for days now. The Texas power gird has been overworked since it’s easier to make a home 30 degrees cooler in the heat than it is to make a home 60 degrees warmer in the freezing cold. Many Texans are desperate to have their heat and power restored. Unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to scammers.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is better know as ERCOT. ERCOT manages the power grid that supplies electricity to 90% of Texas. The Council has issued a warning about a scam that is currently preying on Texas residents.

    According to ERCOT, scammers have taken to social media posing as ERCOT telling residents that if they give their account numbers to the phony ERCOT social media accounts, residents will have their power restored. It’s unknown why scammers want the account numbers, however, with those account numbers, scammers can cause all sorts of havoc for the ERCOT customer.

    Meanwhile, reports from Houston are saying that scammers are impersonating utility employees to gain access to customer homes. Officials there say that no power utility employee will need to enter the home but may be by your outdoor power meter. They also suggest that real employees will drive a company marked vehicle and not an unmarked personal vehicle.

    With more winter storms supposedly headed to Texas, residents need to be on the lookout for these scams. Scammers love nothing more than a time of crisis and despair to try to take money, information of both from their victims.

  • Geebo 11:02 am on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , power grid, Vermont   

    Has the power grid been hacked? 

    Has the power grid been hacked?

    Over the New Year’s weekend a story made the rounds that the power gird in Vermont had been hacked by foreign aggressors, Russian hackers to be specific. As is usually the case with these stories the cyber-devil is in the details.

    Much like the claims that the Russians hacked the 2016 US election the truth is somewhere in the middle. In the so-called power grid hack it was reported that Russian hackers had gained access to the power grid in Vermont. That turned out to be not the case. Instead, it was revealed that Russian malware was found on a laptop owned by a utility company. The laptop itself had no connection to the power grid, not to mention that Russian malware can be a misnomer.

    Russia is a haven for hackers and malware, this doesn’t mean that they are necessarily state sponsored. Also, not only is malware for sale to whoever wants to pay the price but any computer can be infected with it regardless of who owns it. For the most part malware is usually injected into computers when the user clicks on a risky link or email attachment. It’s normally used to cast a wide net to infect as many people as possible rather than singling out a single machine.

    So as it stands right now the power grid is relatively safe from Russian hackers. There’s a better chance of it failing from its own decay.

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