Lawmakers look to 'dumb down' smart grid

Lawmakers look to 'dumb down' smart grid
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Lawmakers are taking a look at legislation to improve cybersecurity in critical infrastructure by dumbing down the nation's smart grid.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act next Tuesday, July 12, at 2:30 p.m.

The bill instructs the National Laboratories to explore replacing critical computer-connected components that regulate power plants and electric grids with analogue ones. With fewer computerized components, there would be fewer high-value targets to hack, supporters say.

The measure was proposed by Senate Intelligence committee members including Sens. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingNew intel chief inherits host of challenges Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings Top Democrat: 'Disqualifying' if Trump intel pick padded his résumé MORE (I-Maine), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischOvernight Defense: US exits landmark arms control treaty with Russia | Pentagon vows to 'fully pursue' once-banned missiles | Ratcliffe out as intel pick | Trump signs budget deal that boosts defense | Trump defends North Korea's Kim as 'friend' The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Landmark US-Russia arms control treaty poised for final blow MORE (R-Idaho), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Senate committee advances nomination of general accused of sexual assault House passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards MORE (D-N.M.), and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Top Foreign Affairs Republican: 'It would benefit all of us' for Omar, Tlaib to visit Israel MORE (R-Maine).

“National security officials and cyber-experts have repeatedly warned us about the dangerous impact a cyber-attack could have on major components of our national infrastructure, like our electric grid,” said Sen. King in a press release.

“That’s why it’s critical that we move now to examine ways to strengthen our defenses and why I am pleased the Subcommittee on Energy has agreed to take up our legislation next week.” 

When the bill was first proposed, the senators noted that the dumb technology approach aided Ukraine during a recent attack on its grid.

The attack, they said, would have been worse had Ukraine connected more components of its electrical infrastructure to computers.