Print Friendly and PDF
U.S. intel chief warns of devastating cyber threat to U.S. infrastructure.

U.S. intel chief warns of devastating cyber threat to U.S. infrastructure.

How are cyber security and environmental health linked? Just look at the health mess – still! – in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria leveled the grid.

While at first glance this story would appear unrelated to environmental health, it actually covers a story of vital importance to the environment, health, and environmental health.


Cybersecurity attacks could take down parts or all of the utility grid, or other important components of a country's infrastructure, including in the United States. A few days without grid would be tolerable, but some plausible scenarios involve weeks or months—or longer—down times. Check out Ted Koppel's book "Lights Out."

For an additional perspective, read Nick Kristof's New York Times essay on 4 July: "To hackers, we're Bambi in the woods." Or dig into David Sanger's new, superb book, "The Perfect Weapon."

A few weeks without a functioning grid would be devastating. Consider what the Hurricane Maria did to health, water supply, food security and more on Puerto Rico.

From the Reuters story:

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Of the four, "Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question," he said.

Read the full Reuters story here.

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

WATCH: Pete Myers and Tyrone Hayes reflect on tremendous progress in the environmental health field

"It isn't one scientific finding that accomplishes a structural change in science. It's a drumbeat — one after the other — for decades."

What happens if the largest owner of oil and gas wells in the US goes bankrupt?

Diversified Energy’s liabilities exceed its assets, according to a new report, sparking concerns about whether taxpayers will wind up paying to plug its 70,000 wells.

LISTEN: Gabriel Gadsden on the rodent infestation and energy justice connection

“What it really comes down to is political will and resource allocation.”

Listen: EHN reporter discusses EPA's new proposed air pollution limits

Kristina Marusic joined Pittsburgh's NPR news station to discuss the proposed new rules

Racist beauty standards leave communities of color more exposed to harmful chemicals: NYC study

"How do you change centuries of colonialism and racism that have always uplifted light and white skin tone and features?”