Blog Post

Cyberattacks or Squirrels: What's the Bigger Risk to the Electricity Grid?

A humorous website, Cyber Squirrel 1, provides a map of all known "cyber squirrel operations" that have disrupted the electricity grid since 1987. According to Cyber Squirrel 1, there have been more than 623 successful "cyber war ops" by squirrels. Of particular interest to those living in Southern Ontario, there have been 52 successful "cyber war ops" by raccoons. The site notes that there have been many more "successful executed ops" that have not been reported (and that remain classified).

The premise of Cyber Squirrel 1 is that the electricity grid is much more susceptible to interruption and disruption from animals (squirrels, birds, raccoons, snakes, rats and beavers are listed) than from "nation state operations." The implication is that far too much attention is being paid to risk of an unlikely outside "attack" and not enough attention is being paid to protecting electricity systems from common, predictable disruptions.

Recent news articles about this website are found here, here and here.