The United States is spending more on cybersecurity today than ever before but is experiencing a growing number of cyberattacks on the power grid and other targets. A Nebraska-based consortium of small municipal utilities, for example, recently detected nearly 4 million hacking attempts in one eight-week period. The electric grid — a patchwork of more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines and 9,200 generating stations — also is vulnerable to attacks by gun- or bomb-wielding terrorists or saboteurs. Although some security experts say a massive, long-term blackout is unlikely, industry and government officials are working to protect the grid and improve coordination between agencies and utilities. In February, President Obama announced a plan to help government agencies, businesses and the public prevent and respond to ...

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