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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1072
Location: Detroit, Michigan
I remember that outage of 2003 like yesterday. I was working at the Chrysler Auburn Hills, Mi, servicing a computer in a massive cube farm, when all the power in the place went out for few seconds. Then the power came back on kinda sorta, I guess the backup generators where firing up, but wasn't right. All the florescent ceiling lights went strobing back and forth for a few seconds, a heck of a sight, then quit, and that was it, everything went dark for good. It was not fun, as far as I was concerned. After a few days out, ice, food and gas was getting hard to find, and my fridge was starting to go warm, so I went up North to a place I had at the time just outside of Mio, Mi, where the electric was still on. I now have an early 90's Winco tri-fuel generator I maintain in case that happens again. Electronically attacking a country's infrastructure is something of an act of war, isn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 7:21 pm 
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Location: Warner Robins, GA
Personally I think 60Hz was a poor choice in frequency to use for AC power.

Perhaps if something like 400Hz was used, power distribution would be much more efficient and things like transformers could be much smaller and wouldn't be as expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Don Cavey wrote:
n3uvt wrote:
Wasn't there a city whose electric or gas was hacked into and caused a small disruption? People were saying it was just a test from the hackers of bigger things to come.

Are you referring to Baltimore City? It is still off line.

https://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/water/

The hack impacted the payment portal, which is completely distinct from the systems that provide the utility service to customers.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 8:46 pm 
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Location: Aurora, CO
I've worked at a large telco for 25 years and now a law enforcement agency for 11+. Folks at the top are inclined to spend the least possible for real security. Large sums of money are spent creating the illusion of security. Most are willing to kick the can down road hoping nothing bad happens on their watch. Call me a cynic but...

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 8:47 pm 
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Location: Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.
Tube Radio wrote:
Personally I think 60Hz was a poor choice in frequency to use for AC power.

Perhaps if something like 400Hz was used, power distribution would be much more efficient and things like transformers could be much smaller and wouldn't be as expensive.

Really? At 60 Hz some of the cross-country lines are long enough to exhibit transmission-line effects, like the output voltage being higher than the input voltage due to standing waves. 400 Hz would only make this worse. Get a good book on RF theory (like an ARRL handbook) and read up on how transmission lines behave as a function of wavelength. Some new lines are using DC to avoid these problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 9:36 pm 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
was 60hz selected for AC motor speed at that time?

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 10:25 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
As I recall, it had a lot to do with Tesla's induction motor design, and his claim of it being most efficient at 60HZ.

I do know that there was nothing short of a war between Tesla and Edison, who already had a DC system up and running.

Somewhere in this mix was George Westinghouse, and probably a few other titans of industry at the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 10:29 pm 
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Some historical info here:

http://www.djtelectricaltraining.co.uk/ ... quency.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
The lower the frequency of transmission, the better are the large 'Tesla' motors.
25 Hz made Edison lights flicker.

Standing waves on power transmission lines cannot affect line
design as much as skin effect, which is different for 50 and 60 Hz lines.

DC lines don't deal with impedance, so the battle between AC and DC
high voltage hinges on corona.

The other thing about DC lines, is the direction of power flow does not depend on
time references, hawked by net members.

https://mashable.com/2018/03/09/serbia- ... -run-slow/

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 11:29 pm 
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radiotechnician wrote:
...
Standing waves on power transmission lines cannot affect line
design as much as skin effect, which is different for 50 and 60 Hz lines....


Skin effect at that frequency??

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 11:51 pm 
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Location: Sanford Fla 32771
1965 I was somewhere in New Jersey and had just finished installing some industrial control equipment in a wire mill with the help of the union shop electrician. As I turned the power switch on and the contactor made that load "klunk" all the lights in the plant went of, mill motors winding down, and lots of workers yelling "what happened ?". The electrician said "What did you do ?". Talk about bad timing, just as I turned that switch to the on position, all of the northeast from Canada to southern New Jersey went dark. It was the great 1965 blackout.
A faulty relay was eventually blamed somewhere in northern New York on the overloaded grid and the various grids became overloaded one by one as they didn't shed the downed grids fast enough. I still like to think that my equipment added just enough load (about 400W) to be the final straw that took it all down. (Just kidding, but the timing …)

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 12:35 am 
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Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
Don Cavey wrote:
radiotechnician wrote:
...
Standing waves on power transmission lines cannot affect line
design as much as skin effect, which is different for 50 and 60 Hz lines....


Skin effect at that frequency??

At 60 Hz, the skin effect reduces the current density in a conductor to 37% of the surface value at approx 1/3 of an inch below the surface of the conductor. I have no idea how large the transmission lines are, but it seems as though it would have an impact on transmission lines if they are fairly large in diameter. I doubt there is a noticeable difference from 50 to 60 Hz, but over large runs, maybe.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 12:42 am 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
Posts: 880
arbilab wrote:
That would be a giggle for them, wouldn't it? Make everyone's lights blink dirty words in Morse.

The capability exists for grid data over the grid itself; how widely implemented I know not but Austin had it and it's only verging on 'metro' status. To access it at all, whatever-ists would have to tap ~138kV lines and know the format and command set. Surely the grid doesn't run on Windows; skyguy knows what a bluescreen would do to a turbine.

But then positive train control capability exists yet goes embarrassingly unimplemented. Who knows where the industry stands on data security? Oh, we can't tell you that. It's classified. Meaning forbidden to honest people. What I 'know' is from chatting a lineman at the substation that blew up the night before. Not kidding.

You know those "transformer explosions" the media gets all frothy about but aren't really? This one really was. As in KABOOOOM at 3AM from a mile away. 7.2kV feeder xfmr destroyed like little Chernobyl. Austin Electric had the lights back on in a half hour but I didn't need to ask how they did that.


Early one rainy morning about 8 years ago, there was a large birds nest around a set of high voltage wires feeding neighborhoods off of University in Round Rock. That sucker went off like the 4th of July, taking out the transformer on that pole and kililng the power to an elementary school and neighborhoods surrounding it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 1:02 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 11414
Location: Powell River BC Canada
Don Cavey wrote:
radiotechnician wrote:
...
Standing waves on power transmission lines cannot affect line
design as much as skin effect, which is different for 50 and 60 Hz lines....


Skin effect at that frequency??



Bite me. I bought this fool book 50 years ago. :D
Attachment:
skin effect std hnbk ee 1907.jpg
skin effect std hnbk ee 1907.jpg [ 385.62 KiB | Viewed 114 times ]
Attachment:
skin effect std hnbk ee 1907.jpg
skin effect std hnbk ee 1907.jpg [ 385.62 KiB | Viewed 114 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 1:47 am 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
...well gag me with a spoon. I've always thought skin effect was mainly a high frequency thing. Witness transmission lines for high power transmitters such as TV.... the conductor is a copper pipe.

Hmph!! another lifelong belief shattered.......

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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 1:53 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 21, 2009 7:45 pm
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Location: Port Dover, Ontario
More and more homes are using "smart meters" to monitor their usage of electricity.

Are these connected to the internet and therefore a possible route for hackers to get into the larger system?

Joseph


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 3:06 am 
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Joined: Apr Thu 16, 2015 11:04 pm
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Location: Sacramento, California
The smart meter actually transmits data over the 900 Mhz (33 cm) band to central hubs, which then send the data to central monitoring locations. It's not like, say, the solar arrays from such places as Tesla Solar (aka Solar City) that piggyback on the end user's home internet to send data.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 3:48 am 
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Tube Radio wrote:
Personally I think 60Hz was a poor choice in frequency to use for AC power.

Perhaps if something like 400Hz was used, power distribution would be much more efficient and things like transformers could be much smaller and wouldn't be as expensive.


My intuition is that 400 Hz hum would be more intrusive than 60 cycle hum. It's easier for my brain tune out a frequency that is closer to subaudible tones and is below the vast majority of frequencies that voice and music produce. 400 HZ is close to the orchestral tuning note of A=440, but it's between G and G#. If it was audible, what a clash that would be!


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 4:10 am 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
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Tube Radio wrote:
Personally I think 60Hz was a poor choice in frequency to use for AC power.

Perhaps if something like 400Hz was used, power distribution would be much more efficient and things like transformers could be much smaller and wouldn't be as expensive.



Actually TR,

It had to do with 60hz ability to "travel". It was able to do long distances without too much loss, but that's debatable. It's also one of the reasons why DC failed so miserably.


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 Post subject: Re: Hackers Probing US Electric Grid
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 4:11 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA
I worked for a power utility as an intern in college around 1988-89. I was told at the time that utility companies were required by FERC to have their own control network separate from the phone lines to run their systems. To that end, they maintained microwave radio towers to back up the phone lines, so that the electricity would stay on even if the phone system went down. I wonder if that's still the case?

In any case, it sounded to me at the time like their main network even then was carried by the phone companies, just like the internet today.

-Rodney


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