tv Book Discussion on Lights Out CSPAN December 27, 2015 12:00am-12:47am EST
is trying to climb out of her wheelchair, having fallen out of it and some sportswriters said nbc could not have made a worse choice because the heidi watchers were disturbed by the crawl and all the sports watchers were devastated and wild that nbc would cut away like that. >> from mrs. lincoln and kennedy and sports misfortune, michael farquhar is the author of bad days in history: a gleefully grim chronicle of misfortune, mayhem, and misery for every day of the year. >> thank you so much. :
they will get their giggles out. 1972 i found myself sitting in a minibus next to james michener that told me this story so it is appropriate. he said he got a call at dinnertime that said congratulations our organization and has offered you the greatest living american author we would like you to except the award. dave the time of place. he said that this lovely. terrific. day you mind if i consult my calendar? he said i am terribly sorry but i have a previous engagement that i cannot change.
there was a long pause. that the caller said well? can you think of another greatest living ... [laughter] had beecher said what about others he said no. we tried that they cannot make either. [laughter] okay. the giggles end here. >> with they ask me to interview him i figured he would interview the audience. to use your words that the publishers words as a wake-up call.
have they will kidnap? >> if they have i am not sure i see any evidence yet but is rarely. -- early. i will put this into context in the aftermath of a russian jet blowed out of the sky and paris, the aftermath of what just happened in rome -- west africa. and our political leaders who would like to be our political leaders that is a lack of glory.
with the need to protect the nation against the influx of 10,000 syrian muslim refugees. that we have long since passed the day of what we need to be worried about of the terrorist blowing itself up even in that crowded fed you. liddy in a day and age that cyberterrorist have the capacity to take down all or power -- part of the electric power grids. you don't have to use a great deal of imagination and to know what happened. id by a and b were familiar with the impact of the hurricane. the electricity could go out
hours or days. it is a cyberattacks on a power grid so even weeks or months. they about that then tell me how worried you are about the refugees. >> host: adieu right in the book we have become disoriented of the similarities of the aftermath and what is required when it comes to health they said they should deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack on the grid. what are the differences? >> guest: lists scope and duration of. billions of people forced out of their homes of
relatively limited reach and. and if we're capable of handling domestic refugees. we probably are so adjusted gadgeteer city for a period of weeks or months to have a storehouse of food. most department trawlers baby having enough for another day or two. if you pick up the phone to call the red cross or fema or department to fall has security or go online to their sites. you will find their recommended what you would
do it anticipation never heard cade 82 or three days' supply of food dash water. a battery powered radio and fresh batteries. the extra money make sure you go if you're separated where you will go to beat. that is it that doesn't cut it in the effect of a cyberattacks on the power grid. it is a terribly sensitive mechanism. we have to have exactly the same amount of power be generated as is being used a bad kid a balloon but it is
exactly the same. to my chair in in the balloon explodes or out it collapses. we have to be paid a perfect balance in the power system with the energy that is used. with 3200 power companies. they are all linked with the balance coming in or out is not maintained the system begins to collapse. and hundreds of thousands of
operations that could only be handled by the internet so if somebody can get into the mechanism of the internet, of those systems that are the supervisory control and data acquisition and systems. and not get out of balance that you have cascading outages that are far beyond far beyond it the process. >> host: you spoke with executives and federal and state regulators, military experts emergency management experts, legislators with
the ability to grasp the scenario you have laid out. >> it is almost insulting to suggest. they are fully aware of the danger. and the larger power companies florida power and light is a gigantic organization i am confident they have spent probably hundreds of millions of dollars they are more worried of profit and safety if he had the weakest part you can affect the strongest part.
>> speak to balance level of engagement with regards to regulators. >> that the power industry was deregulated. that works out very well from an economic point of view because there is competition from the point of view of imposing federal regulations are security regulations cop against cyberattacks here's the problem. it is called the north american and regulatory commission and but ferc is
the federal body but it opposes the legislation and to a the industry. proposes. the industry then hast to vote. unless some plumes of the proposal that the federal government wants to impose upon them does not get past. if you decide what regulations that will tolerate he will not get the toughest. >> you describe the real threat and who is behind that and he opposes that threat? >> guest: first of all, this is not ted did say this will happen is the reason i began to write the book in the first places the president, how many took notes at the time.
into a successive stated the the addresses warned about the danger of cyberattackers going after said it would dash it infrastructure and siegel about the electric power industry. this secretary of defense leon panetta at the time talked about a cyberpearl harbor that was the dimension of the disaster he saw coming. janet napolitano just before she left office after five years, she spoke about the danger of a sniper attack is now the president of the university you california. i called her to research the book. how seriously do you take the danger of a cyberattacks on the power grid? she said very, very likely. between each year 80%.
so the likelihood is huge. i have spoken to the former director of the national security agency who referred me to the chief scientist and he does for a fact the chinese have the russians are already inside our grid. they are they're literally with one key stroke they could take down the grid. the iranians are probably there. we don't know for sure. here is the good news and the bad news those who have the greatest capacity are the least likely to take the grid down because we have so
many crisscrossing interest with the tidies and the russians but if you get to the level of north korea however all of a sudden the common interest is few and far between. coming to groups like isis that is where the danger is chilling. because what isis wants to do is to inflict pain on western europe and the united states. and to be able to do that by remote-control that there are plenty of experts out there they have a couple of billion dollars in hard cash. and the equipment that you be are off the shelf.
this is a very real danger confronted right now. and while the government lets us down completely there is no plan. and you would think they would share it with all of us but they have not. >> that united states is confetti but there isn't much confrontation happening. thus it administrator of the but, is terrific and only cares what janet napolitano told him. he cares about disaster response and the university
of florida football. [laughter] the of the touche agency cares about. but he is amazing. but he does not make the rules. he reports to the department of homeland security. and that says something. with the annual poll of a dual workers day assess employee satisfaction and the perceived leadership in their 80s and separate federal agencies that are measured in that fashion and. department of homeland security comes night he did every category but one and that is 80.
>> not very reassuring. but let me ask you about the response. you became curious about this after a bomb blew been shed in two consecutive state of the redresses. we have seen the legislation proposed and passed. is it too late or not tv ad for a start? >> it is not too late but is not be enough. but you are a perfect example the air all struggling a terminally with the battle of security on the one hand and privacy on the other.
we care about privacy and security in the wake of my beloved all the emphasis was on security. gradually the pendulum has shifted back so now more americans care about privacy and tel paris -- a tel paris. ag you can see it the attorney-general to talk about the communication in companies the telephone the company is the very capable
said that old the of the older himself is capable to get into it. even the phone company cannot get them. a law enforcement agency says this is terribly dangerous because in france and belgium over the last couple of weeks they work -- were communications that may have been intercepted which can no longer be intercepted. so here we are with the struggle had an election year this will be something you are asked to vote on they will put the of this on privacy and security. it is a tough call. >> how is that articulated? as you have gone what is
advocated? >> pass eight cyberlegislation a few weeks ago the essence is the electric power companies are worried about the privacy of their subscribers and therefore a reluctance among the power companies to share with the international government or to compromise on this issue and the compromise is before this information will be given to any federal government agency it can be scrubbed by the power company sold privacy considerations. after it has been scrubbed it has been given not to the nsa that is the most competent when it comes to
cyberwarfare with the department of homeland's security than they have a chance to scrub for privacy considerations called the then hit did -- handed to the nsa. it a world where microseconds that in the region is communicated taking the time to scrap this before finally gets to the nsa is self-destructive. >> examine the best solutions how should the public gauge to hold off the threat prior to a cyberattacks with that 80 or
80 percent of the cyberattacks on the electric grid. >> we need to plan for the aftermath. with the collection id of agencies. here is the problem. it was never designed to be defended as one intelligence officer told the so they could exchange good ideas. if you cannot defend something perfectly similar to the ebola virus. wed day came to texas from west africa he was carrying the virus and put and hospital ward attended by two horses that were covered with every possible protection gear they could
find hats, plastic visors two sets of gloves but they still caught the disease. the patient was in the final stages projectile vomiting with terrible diarrhea and other nurses koch ebola. if they took the gloves off they inadvertently touched the infected fecal matter or alternatively there was of little space on this side of their neck that was not covered. there is the reason so much of what we talk about of cybersecurity that they borrow from bettis said. we talk about a virus or attacks circuses the power
companies will tell you they are superbly well protected but no one part of this system touches another. but here is what had happened it is equivalent to the patients taking care of the patients. they take a summer drive home and insert that into their personal computer. the sum drive is affected the next day they take the u.s. be back to work all the fire walls in the world will not protect the program and given the internet was never designed to be defended.
>> host: has the for-profit industry not learned in the st. from the target credit card or jpmorgan and attacks? >> they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars but speaking to a half years ago. $615 million of cybersecurity. a year-and-a-half ago they were packed, 83 million of their customers' records were hacked to a stolen. everybody thought it was the
russians and the baby it had bad bet the whole plate of a cyberattack and they said it looks like it originated in said ukraine that we have tried to go back further hand but before that johannesburg and then brussels and as far back that we can track at this point it looks like it originated in brooklyn. [laughter] now what do you do? what distinguish from anything we have known before in this country? the fear was that soviet missiles, in our direction and.
but wait to tell them the so slanted. but there never would have bad if a question in his mind as to read the attack was coming or where it was coming from. if the grid goes down the first question is who did it? if you have the sense how long it can take with that goofy movie of a north korean dictator that a couple weeks after was announced it was coming out sunday pitchers was hacked at all computers were taken down and private e-mail messages were revealed had
made public. all the salaries of top executives. it had to be the north koreans but it took the bullets before they could stay with certainty it was the number three hands. we will not know with the attack comes where it originated. >> host: we will bid for questions. for his book "lights out" a cyberattack, a nation unprepared, surviving the aftermath" few dedicated the book to your grandchildren and asked them did vacation a hope you got it wrong. sure. i now want them to have to live what -- with this threat. i will go right to the
second question. [laughter] >> jedi still use that lecturer emma classes today that is the most recent discussion of what could have bid over the next 30 years is far that i could tell everything came true. [applause] node udo please don't. i just got to ante build the other day that i am having a senior bogota the correspondent. we had one that was absolutely fixated on this subject and to hear evidence sure applause that should go. 30 years rand to this day still pressing the issue of climate change. they akio.
up hour personal data. on either hand i come down in "lights out" on this side of giving the nsa its head. i am convinced of a dreadful threat that the cyberthreat to the latest dates this is for existential for go the best equipped agency in that country is the editor say in a dignified and analysis face it will reface if i have touche agreed that i haven't violated from the tidies and the russians.
>> if i had the eggs like yours i would be wearing shorts also. [laughter] >> the question is for those that do have the capability of north korea tavis 80 precis had it read not be an hour in and you never have we this is that our government may have the capability if needed. >> and what used to be have been of nuclear destruction. >> love we put your mind at ge. the head is a is the most cogent warrior in the world. can we do to the charities
then imagine the world of the providence whether microsoft or english or bellevue or summer silicon valley or in other trusted facility that the source said kit but it is of trusted solutions. this. but my brother has identified the solutions to have a possibility of changing the entire paradox. and you'd been thinking about the topic of
introducing province saw rare and it may change. faq. >> you'll be honest answer is i don't know. but i kid to leave for example, the scadas systems systems, most of them are manufactured by one company company, the siemens. e. if they exist all over the world so for example, of scadas system in the nuclear lab was a seaman system. and as one former adviser to the part accident we -- told me if you walk into the headquarters of pacific electric and gas in california and the say but
of shanghai how are you would find this save siemens scadas system you are probably familiar with the black hat conference that is in the annual gathering. but how actors that delight in disproving the one that you suggest we add is extraordinarily proud that they still have one made -- one month of breakable password that makes them accessible only to siemens technicians. and said here is the password. [laughter]
have systems that help us overcome infections such as the cold you and flew. or it is much more difficult to ever come. it is preventing the actual systems to tolerate and they can recover from that of power goes down for weeks the real solution is to have communities tolerate the the without the grid three or four weeks. >> guest: in other words, there are micro grids
separate of the country 12 percent can be supplied via micro grids. those are in rural communities. to the best of my knowledge there is no microbrewed backing up bin the york or philadelphia lawsuit angelou chicago or a heavy. -- or miami. the possibility someone comes up with a fixed someone is always there. but the key is the vulnerability of the internet itself. but a lot of these are operated on their own.