Author of Be Ready for Anything and The Blackout Book
With cyberattacks becoming more and more frequent, we’re starting to see the exceptionally dangerous vulnerabilities in our infrastructure. From the person who hacked the municipal water supply in Florida to the Colonial pipeline attack to the cyberattack that took out most of the power to Puerto Rico, we’ve been shown that the possibilities are infinite.
And with the upcoming “wargame” of Cyber Polygon coming up next month, a lot of people are on edge, as the World Economic Forum and other rich and powerful folks have an uncanny track record of “practicing” an event right before it happens. Think about Clade X and Event 201, for example.
I’m far from the only person noticing these “coincidences.”
What is Cyber Polygon?
I’m glad you asked. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Cyber Polygon is a unique cybersecurity event that combines the world’s largest technical training exercise for corporate teams and an online conference featuring senior officials from international organisations and leading corporations.
The 2021 conference discusses the key risks of digitalisation and best practice for the secure development of digital ecosystems.
The 2021 technical exercise builds and tests the skills needed to protect our industries, centring on a targeted supply-chain attack. (source)
Oh – that’s interesting. The supply chain. You know, the one we’re already struggling with even though the mainstream wants you to believe everything is just fiiiinnnne.
It’s not like a shortage of supplies could be hidden behind a “cyberattack” or anything.
The thing is, whether it’s real or manufactured, a cyberattack is something for which we should all be prepared. Just like I always write when talking about events like mass shootings, it doesn’t matter while you’re in the moment who’s responsible. What matters is surviving. We can thrash out who is responsible later.
So let’s talk about how to prepare for the potential of a cyber attack.
How does a cyber attack affect you?
You may think that if you don’t spend your day working online, that an attack on our computer infrastructure isn’t that big of a deal. You may feel like it wouldn’t affect you at all.
Unfortunately, there are very few people in the country that would remain completely unaffected in the event of a major cyber attack. Our economy, our utility grids, and our transportation systems are all heavily reliant upon computers. This makes us very vulnerable to such an attack.
And by vulnerable, I mean that if it was done on a big enough scale, it could essentially paralyze the entire country.
Here are some of the systems that are reliant on computers.
In the event of a widespread cyberattack, the following could be either completely inoperable or breached. Keep in mind that a domino effect could occur that affects systems beyond the original target.
- Gas stations (most of the pumps are now digital and connect right to your bank) – looking at YOU, Colonial Pipeline.
- Banks (all of the records are online) would not be able to process electronic transactions. ATM machines would not function to allow customers access to cash.
- Utility systems (most power stations are run by computers)
- Water treatment facilities (these are automated too)
- Protection of personal information, including data about your finances, medical records, physical location, and academic records – everything a person would need to steal your identity
- Government operations, including dangerous identifying information about federal employees or members of the military
- Transportation systems (trains, subways, and planes are heavily reliant upon computers)
- Traffic management systems like stoplights, crosswalks, etc.
- Air traffic control
- Everyday trade – most businesses have a computerized cash register that communicates directly with banks. Many businesses are also reliant on scanning bar codes for inventory control and pricing. Point-of-sale systems would be down and people would not be able to pay using credit or debit cards.
- Telecommunications systems can be affected if cell towers are disabled or if the landline system were directly attacked. As more people rely on VOIP, taking down internet service would serve a dual purpose.
- SMART systems could be shut down or manipulated. All of those gadgets that automate climate control, use of utilities, or appliances through SMART technology are vulnerable.
Here’s a video from NATO that explains a little bit more about the dangers of cyberattacks.
Prepping to survive a cyber attack
Prepping for a cyber attack is not that different from prepping for other types of disasters that affect the grid. You want to be able to operate independently of public utilities, stores, or public transportation.
Click each item to learn more details.
- Have a supply of water stored in case municipal supplies are tainted or shut down
- Be prepared for an extended power outage. Check out this e-book for more in-depth information.
- Have a food supply on hand, as well as a way to prepare your food without the grid.
- Keep cash in small denominations on hand in the event that credit cards, debit cards, and ATMs are inoperable.
- Keep vehicles above halfway full of fuel, and store extra gasoline.
- Be prepared for off-grid sanitation needs.
- Invest in some communications devices like ham radio or one of these other options.
- Be ready to hunker down at home to avoid the chaos that could come in the aftermath of a massive cyber attack. Be prepared to defend your home if necessary.
- Remember that your prepper supplies and skills will see you through this disaster just like any other.
- Protect your identity with a service like LifeLock (which will alert you to suspicious activity once things return to normal). Use some of these tips to keep your information locked down.
What do you think?
So, let’s hear from the “hive mind” of the preparedness community.
How likely do you think it is that we’ll be hit by a massive cyberattack? Have recent events been some kind of test run? What about this year’s Cyber Polygon focused on the supply chain? What other effects do you think a massive cyber attack might have? Do you have any additional preparedness tips for such an event? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She publishes content about current events, preparedness, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. On her new website, The Frugalite, she shares thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.
In Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, he interviews several cyber-experts and former NSA employees, who say it is highly likely 3, maybe four nation states are already mapping out vulnerabilities in our electrical grid.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, recently said, ‘Yes, they do,” to the question if the nations adversaries could shut down our grid.
Is it a question of not “If, but “When?”
A few years ago, a friend of ours was at a gas station, getting beer.
The CC machines were down. He was at the end of a long line as they were all waiting for the CC machines to come back on line.
The cashier announced they could take anyone with cash.
He just so happened to have a $20 in his wallet. To the front of the line he went and out the door with his beer.
We keep a stash of cash in the lock box.
I had a similar experience in a grocery store a few years back. Their point of sale system went down and they couldn’t process debit or SNAP cards. When the announcement came over the speaker, just about everyone in the store left. They left their carts right in the aisles and walked out the door. I had some cash on me so I could pay.
And btw, going to a cashless system would be really problematic in this situation, wouldn’t it?
I was in a Wal-Mart once when the power went out.
Their point of sale systems didnt even hic-cup. Keep right on going with no interruption at all. Rest of the store was dark, except the really cheesy emergency lighting.
Not sure about the security system.
But you are right in a truly cashless system.
How many people carry checks anymore?
And, I think there might be some people whom have never seen a check or know how to fill out a check.
“They left their carts right in the aisles and walked out the door”
if it’s ever serious they’ll walk out the door with the carts.
I heeded the advise from a post a couple of weeks ago to buy meat (I always have plenty but can you ever really have enough?) and have been waiting to see empty cases at my club store. I still haven’t seen that but I did notice a MASSIVE price increase in meat over the weekend. My boyfriend has a smoker and ribs are something we cook pretty frequently on it, so I’m very familiar with the typical price. I usually get a pack for about $30 at the club store but, unfortunately, needed to buy some over the weekend at an elevated price (over $50). I wish now I’d checked other prices while I was there. I’m also glad I suggested to a friend she might want to buy the meat she is planning for graduation party early…it seems she may have still been able to get it this week but I bet she would be paying double for it.
In the event of power outage you won’t be able to eat the meat fast enough.
There is a difference between a cyber attack that’s intended to kill power for a very long time … compared with a test run that’s hopefully a lot easier to cope with. Whether the Cyber Polygon “test” blurs the line between those two seems as yet unknown. I haven’t been able to find out how long Cyber Polygon is planned to last
There are lots of people with special needs for whom the long term lack of electric power can be death dealing. Here’s an example of planning for short term power outages for people using dialysis equipment at home that relies on AC power:
If you read through the details it seems clear that their backup strategies are short term only …and NOT designed to cope with a Puerto Rico length power outage. So here are two monster questions:
1. Are we so stupid as to allow a total switchover to a digital cashless economy which would be guaranteed to shutdown during a cyber attack that results in a prolonged power outage?
2. At what point does an intentional power outage warrant a charge of attempted or even actual murder? And what are the chances of affected governments going to bat on behalf of damaged or murdered citizens .. during or after a Puerto Rico length shutdown?
Here is a very long discussion that doesn’t address either of those two questions but seems to regard as inevitable a global switchover to digital economies that will be permanently vulnerable to cyber attack shutdowns:
Thanks for the links, Lewis.
Interesting, Lewis. The Deep State has lost control of the narrative as seen in major media denials of Dr. Robert Malone’s Joe Rogan show on Desmet’s Mass Formation theories about how people have been hypnotized by fear out of any ability to think rationally. They are now panicked and acting irrationally.
They intended to destroy the global economy in 2020. and they did impressive damage, but nobody wants their Great Reset.
I believe they WILL take down much of the Power grid in 2022, but God knows all their plans and has countermeasures. Just like Joseph in the Bible in Genesis “they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”
Far from ushering in their damnable (literally) Great Reset, they will destroy all crypto and eliminate all hope that people will be willing to be so vulnerable to one grid.
After that something very interesting is coming. I am very curious to find out what.
I was by our local water guy that our town had 24 hours worth of water which would operate by gravity, and would operate through any power outage.
That proved to be false, as we later had the longest power outage in my life time (8-12 hours). There was no running water, or flushing the toilet. Even if we provided our own water, the sewers would eventually back up because the pumps are electric. I was also told that my house is near the end of the line for the sewer. So hopefully, the rest of the town would back up before me, and those people would have a clue/be forced to stop adding water.
Not only that, but the landlines here operate on battery power, and only have 4 hours worth. So I couldnt even call 911. Since I dont have a cell phone I have no idea if it would have been functional.
Happily, this happened in the spring so heating wasnt as much of an issue. It gave me time to think about all this and prepare.
I went to the dollar-type store and got rubber balls to shove down the toilet to make an attempt to prevent sewage backups from other people. There are lots of Youtube videos on ice chest air conditioners, and other ways to use battery power for stuff, composting toilets, etc.
I should have added that the landlines run on AC, but that the backup power was battery.
“rubber balls to shove down the toilet to make an attempt to prevent sewage backups”
given your location you’ll have to be more certain about that. there are rubber inflatables purpose-built for exactly that which are much more robust, and also you should look into getting a gasket and flange so you can remove your toilet and block off the pipe securely if you have to. and keep a few gallons of bleach under the sink next to the toilet, you might need them if you have to do this during an overflow condition.
I try to keep $100 in 20s or smaller in my wallet at all times in case POS or connection to banks are down when I’m shopping.
I also keep money at home in 20s and smaller for emergencies. Keeping several staches if cash keeps it from being in one spot.
I have a well so am not reliant on municipal water. I can uncap the well and get water that way, not convenient but it can be done. I also live a short distance from a stream and could purify the water if need be. I have a few bikes and bike trailers so I dont have to use gas.
I have a propane / gas generator to provide needed electrical power. I keep propane and gas on hand for thr generator and the vehicles.
That’s all short term. For a long term situation I’d bug out.
Funny you mentioned about bicycles. I have been contemplating repair on an older 3 wheel bike with large baskets on the front and back as a way to get to my job about 6 miles away in the event of such scenario (or even if the gas prices become more costly). As a middle aged mom, though, I wondered what security precautions I could to take or if it would just make me very vulnerable as a target.
Sher that’s a question only you can answer. I look at most of my preps as Options. As I have bicycles and trailers I CAN get out to find-buy-barter for things. Is it a GOOD Idea to do that? It depends.
But it sure is a nice option to not be forced into shanks mare (sore feet and so on) as my Only Option if there IS some sort of Non-Mad Max style civilization still working. Even a few hours of employment and such is worthwhile in a Inflationary Situation.
Not every situation devolves into Burn, Baby, Burn.
So unless you have a far better thing to spend your money on I’d get that 3 wheeler fixed and ready for use.
Goodness someone like myself *might* trade you for it someday if it’s serviceable.
” I have been contemplating repair on an older 3 wheel bike with large baskets”
do it. do it now while you still can. if you don’t need it or can’t use it maybe you can give it or rent it to someone who can, and if you need it then you’ll be glad you have it.
I should mention a few Youtube channels with great alternative information:
Offgrid with Doug and Stacy. (esp sewage)
Desertsun02. (battery powered heat, solar stuff, so much more)
Not sure yet about recommending Simple Tek; just found it last night.
And for those of you doing ice chest air conditioning: a guy got his ice to last 3 days by segregating the ice from the rest of the fan-system. That is, the ice chest only acts as a reservoir with a water pump in it. The coils are inside a long tube which sits up to 5 feet away from the chest. Thats the best explanation I can come up with.
Who knew the analog lifestyle was the most practical. I limit my digital exposure as much as possible. I don’t carry a cell phone, use deep state apps, purchase spy devices for my home or conduct business via internet. I know that surveillance is epidemic but to have half a chance of any privacy today you have to limit your on-line exposure.
THE ORGANIC PREPPER
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Who disguised as Daisy Luther, a coffee swigging, globe trotting mild mannered blogger, who stands for TRUTH-JUSTICE- and THE AMERICAN WAY!
I believe that it is pretty much a fact that once Communists gain power, they will do anything to maintain it. Thus a big cyber attack followed by Martial Law, as things break down, might be in the works before 2022 election.
“a way to prepare your food without the grid”
easier to have stuff that doesn’t require cooking.
Or maybe learn how to light a fire? Not all grills need propane, and a simple fire ring outside, made of stone, also works. Protein is necessary for a balanced diet, and spinach isn’t going to cut it. Maybe leave a useful comment once in a while instead of ignorant, quote-ridden drivel.
One of the lessons learned living in Hurricane Ally, was at around day 3-4 with no power, some of the stuff in the freezer is close to thawed.
I was out walking the dog and here were various people firing up the charcoal or gas grill. Either use it or lose it. Then some people with musical talent and instruments started to jam in the street. Next thing you know, we are having a block party. Nice way to meet people.
Another time, a gas grill with one of those side burners, and a French press was really useful. Way better than instant coffee.
Yea. Who wants to eat cereal and granola bars night and day…
Kill me now.
“Kill me now”
How safe are portable propane generators from an EMP?
emp results from an electromagnetic wave passing through a conductor and thus generating voltage in that conductor (exactly the same way your generator passes a wire bundle through a magnetic field to generate a voltage). the longer the conductor the greater the voltage, the shorter the conductor the less the voltage.
an emp generated by a distant nuclear detonation passing through a large conductor, such as hundreds of miles of open-air power lines, might be expected to generate very high voltages in that system (and in anything attached to it). passing through very short conductors, such as in the control circuits of a generator regulator, it will generate very low voltages.
if the controller can handle the emp generated by its own power generation, it probably can handle any emp from a nuke (unless the nuke is close, in which case emp will not be your primary concern).
Have spare ignition modules, ECM’s, and ignitors for your particular make and model of generator, and keep them in a Faraday cage.
“Be ready to hunker down at home to avoid the chaos that could come in the aftermath of a massive cyber attack”
keep fire in mind. if all your neighbors are trying open-air cooking and someone starts a fire and the fire department isn’t coming and the fire spreads, have some idea in mind of how to respond.
That is exactly what I thought when I read this Ant7. My idiot neighbors would surely set fires and we are in heavily wooded area. I have not thought of a way to respond to this, except possibly get our community posse of preppers out to monitor these people, but not sure about that one. Any suggestions?
It’s tough to be in control of the actions of other people, but you can take some steps to make your home more disaster-resistant with a good clear area around it and other fire-resistant tips. Check out the Calfire website for some great ideas on getting your home ready for fire season – the same stuff that works in California will work elsewhere. This article has some tips for making your home more disaster-resistant: https://www.theorganicprepper.com/disaster-resistant-home/
none beyond what daisy said, and that’s only going to work in open rural areas. I’m not sure it’s addressable except by intrusively-enforced socialist community standards. some will start fires out of sheer limited intelligence, some will start fires out of desperation or ignorance, and if the fire department is down then firebugs will start fires just for fun every chance they get. and that’s not counting the arsonists who will start fires for political/racial/anarchist reasons – “burn baby burn” is not just a slogan.
suggestion: If you have idiot neighbors, you need to move. In a crisis, you want neighbors you can work with.
For cooking, I have a couple of white gas stoves + close to 5 gal of fuel. I tested one of the stoves and learned that it can run at full blast for a little over an hour on 1/3 pint of fuel. Most cooking takes only a few minutes, usually at less than full blast.
For back-up, I bought a wood burning stove and a couple of hand-held grills to hold meat over the fire. After trying that once where the grease dripped down and made a hard-to-clean mess, I took a 42 oz can of chili, after enjoying the chili, I made a sieve of its bottom using a drill. It’s almost the exact same size as the purchased stove. Burns wood the same way. But I don’t care if fat drips down onto it. Just remember to keep it off the ground so that air can come up through the bottom. Both the purchased stove and the can are very sparing in wood usage, a real plus in areas where wood is scarce, such as a desert.
That takes care of cooking.
Water is what worries me. I’ve stored enough to last a while, but if it doesn’t come back ever, then we’ll have to leave. The water table is too far down to consider a well and there’s no nearby surface water.
Does anyone know of a good design for a 12 volt solar power system that provides enough juice to run a 12 volt refrigerator/freezer and a ham radio? Or should I consider two systems, one to run the refrigerator, and the other everything else? Where’s a good place to get such information?
Other questions, such as keeping the car gassed up, a couple of cans of extra fuel, keep some change handy, all good ideas already mentioned by other people are what we already do.
Keep flexible and ready to change plans if need be.
Batteries for flashlights, etc and a recharger for AAA, AA, and D cells … basic electrical stuff – wires, connectors, stripper, solder and soldering iron and lots of electrical tape. A VO meter to test circuits. A good tradecraft book on building wire layouts and standards.
12 volt systems are easy, but power loss over 20′ plus wire runs is terrible. Best system is 3-4 solar cells, wired in parallel to a charger feeding 4, 6, or 8 12v lithium 100amp batteries – wired in series/parallel for a 24v or 48v system and place an appropriate 220volt Inverter near the batteries. Next, obtain a construction-pole breakout box with 220 /110 plug sockets and you have a portable system ready to bug out in a pickup truck to a remote location without having to move appliances with you.
R.O. and other desert dwellers:
Ancient peoples set up rainwater systems that kept them and crops alive. Legal trouble may prevent you from any obvious set-up now, but look into it and be prepared to deploy it if necessary.
I cook on my rocket stove gravity fed pellets stove optional stick burning stove for winter home heating. In summer I cook over wood or homemade charcoal in a homemade BBQ.
I’d be content to stay home all the time. In warm weather I garden and can. In cold weather I knit, write et. Never bored.
I have chickens, ducks, rabbits as protein sources. I lived most of the last year from my pantry. I can do it again if I must. We eat simple light meals. We’re great grandparents.
I have enough solar power to charge my phone and close to enough to use my fridge and tv again. I have 2 wells. One on commercial power and the other with a manual winch available. I have an old overhead camper with a 3 burner LP cooktop and a 3 way fridge. 12v, 110 power, and Propane. If needed I’ll use that, but I’m shooting for my regular fridge.
Nearest town is far too far for me to bicycle or walk.
Were used to the convenience store 3 miles away having power off often. I carry a little cash. I buy as little now as I can to be comfortable with retirement income
Another thing to worry about is transportation. Aircraft having computerized controls could be forced to crash into populated areas or buildings like 9/11’s disaster. Computer controlled automobiles likewise could be crashed. Boats could be stranded at sea with little hope of rescue.
Another concern is hospital networks. Most if not all patient data is stored in the computer files and many pieces of equipment are computerized. I don’t know if they would be functional if the hospital system was totally crashed – if anyone knows that would be great information.
As far as municipal infrastructure goes, all communications, all files, all water systems and all 911 would be offline. Storing additional water seems like a really good idea, as does having at least one fire extinguisher. A CB or two-way shortwave or ham radio would be good to have, too.
Another consideration is stocking up on and planning for storage of medicines requiring refrigeration or other storage requirements.
Not sure to which mainstream media you’re referring but I’ve been hearing/reading about supply chain issues for a number of months. While the US excels at growing food, it is obvious we’re not excelling in the manufacturing sector.
We’re starting to see skill drain in the US and for the most part, I have little sympathy for corporations. They are now reaping what they sowed.
“We’re starting to see skill drain in the US”
? what, now? dude, this started in the 1990’s. remember perot? he ran an entire presidential campaign on that issue alone. but the people wanted their cheap chinese stuff and perot lost. and here we are.
For the third time in The OP history, I agree with Aunt7/gman.
I find your lack of empathy for corporations… disturbing. As romney once said “Corporations are People too” especially small corporations trying to survive as small businesses. That is the very heart and soul of this country – unbeknownst to some bleeding heart snowflakes.
Corporations supply food, water and electricity and the very roads you drive on to get where you go every day… idiot.
It is always about money. Hackers that say they are working to find security issues either are lying or stupid
I store coins in pill bottles inside a zip lock bag.. Buried among the napkins and wet wipes in the car, and another batch of them by the back door. Easy to grab, but not tempted to spend it.
Update to this article on power grid shutdown preparedness
The most recent prior comment was back in June of 2021. Since then it was announced in November 2021 that beginning on January 15, 2022 shipping would begin to those who ordered the 32GB flash drive of some 2,500+ articles from the entire decade+ of The Organic Prepper through December 31, 2021. It was also made clear that only the articles would be included, but not the vast library of comments — as would be the case for future years additions on flash drives as well. There was a discussion in December 2021 about some homebrew methods of archiving the comments.
There are as many similar interests in various topics by our wide TOP audience as there are also differences in what topics are of interest to some readers. Those differences suggest that homebrew archiving methods for the selected comments of interest could be of great interest. Examples to make the point might include topics like homeschooling which might not be of interest to those without children. A gardening article might not be particularly useful to a reader who spends most time traveling, etc, etc. I have my own common interests along with most of our audience and yet there are some topics that are not a match for my skills, resources or likely needs.
So with that understanding when I ordered one of the 32GB flash drives (back when the earliest frugalite price was available), it was with the understanding that I could use that flash drive to identify the selected articles of greatest interest to me so that during the unknown time available (before such a grid down disaster happens) and use those article titles and/or links to chase down the comments for those articles and archive them as well — even if I had to save them on a separate flash drive (the prices of which have come way down in recent years). There are software methods to give me a choice as to whether to save those article comments separately or to save those selected articles along WITH their comments on a much larger flash drive or external hard drive, for example.
It’s also worth mentioning that such an archiving project has to be a DIY effort while there is still time to access those sometimes invaluable comments as much as possible while the power grids are still working. As was discussed back in December, even the sometimes flaky “eternal” memory of the internet, archive.org, saves only TOP articles but NOT their comments with sometimes invaluable web links.
Since those TOP-sourced 32GB flash drives were not announced until nearly a half year after the last previous discussion of this cyber shutdown preparation article, this discussion about how best to take advantage of those flash drive article archives seems highly relevant now.