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.

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
From our Newsroom

Earth Day: Amidst the greenwashing, it's still a good thing

When corporations tout their greenness and journalists get beaten senseless by lame ideas.

‘Forever chemicals’ coat the outer layers of biodegradable straws

More evidence that harmful PFAS chemicals are sneaking into some "green" and "compostable" products.

Pesticide DDT linked to increased breast cancer risk generations after exposure

Groundbreaking study finds women whose grandmothers had high DDT exposure are more likely to be obese and have early menstruation—both breast cancer risk factors.

Want more clean energy? Focus on people, not technology

Energy decisions can be deeply personal. We need to listen to households and communities before we prescribe their energy transition.

Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

EHN.org scientific investigation finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

The political, media, and community response to our Fractured investigation

From a media blitz to calls for statewide drilling bans, here's a look at the fallout and impacts so far from EHN's investigation of western Pennsylvania fracking impacts.

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.