Emergency officials are concerned that cyber terroists could seek to disrupt the power grid. (Photo by cowlet/flickr)
By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD - What used to be only in a science fiction movie is no longer fiction: a cyber attack that could, for example, cripple a power plant.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will use a $1 million federal grant to develop a cyber security training program for first responders. The program, in conjunction with the Illinois Terrorism Task Force Cyber Security Committee and the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Center for Public Safety and Justice, will then be used in all 50 states.
“A lot of what we do does cross lines,” says IEMA spokeswoman Patti Thompson. “We have a scenario that is for a tornado; a lot of what we do for that carries over to other responses that we would have in real life, just as it does for something like this. The more we practice, and the more different scenarios that we practice for, the better that we’re able to respond to any type of emergency when it happens.”