New Scientist: The National Research Council has only just released a report written in 2007 that warns of the vulnerability of the US power grid to terrorist attack. The report also indicates that such an attack could be devastating because it could leave large areas of the country without power for weeks or months. The major weaknesses of the power grid are its overall size, the lack of security at many of its facilities, the age of many systems, and the grid’s already overstressed state. All of those concerns suggest that failures could cascade through the system as it tries to compensate for damage. The report also indicates that weaknesses may exist in the computer systems at many facilities. But because the report was written five years ago, recent cyberthreats such as the Stuxnet virus, which targeted Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010, are not examined in depth in the report. To improve the strength and security of the grid, the report suggests investing in mobile backup transformers, updating facilities and equipment, and funding more research into the nature of the grid.