A North Korean cyberattack could have the power to take out America's power grid and plunge the country into darkness.
The Pentagon is rushing to protect the country's power lifeline, amid escalating tensions with Kim Jong-un's regime.
Currently, the Pentagon's technology wing, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DAFRA), is in the process of developing 'alternative communication networks' in the case of an attack on the grid.
A North Korean cyberattack has the power to take out America's power grid
According to former CIA Director James Woolsey, North Korea has the capacity to launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
He recently wrote: "A single warhead delivered by North Korean satellite could blackout the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year — killing nine of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse.
"Launch a crash program to harden against EMP attack the U.S. electric grid to preserve American civilization and hundreds of millions of lives.
"This could be part of President Trump’s infrastructure modernization project."
Following escalating rhetoric with Syria and North Korea, the Pentagon has tried to improve protections on the country's defence network.
The Pentagon is desperately rushing to protect the country's power lifeline
Pentagon has tasked BAE Systems to develop the backup systems
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A single warhead delivered by North Korean satellite could blackout the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year — killing nine of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse
DAFRA has tasked BAE Systems with producing this backup communications network for military and civilian use if the grid is fried.
The new technology would be able to move control of the grid to an alternative Secure Emergency Network.
This would mean that America could retaliate in the case of an attack.
However, DARPA’s Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization Systems (RADICS) project remains in the early stages of development and would not likely to be ready for use until 2020.
Tensions continue to escalate with North Korea
Defence Secretary General Mattis is working to protect American power grids
David Grantham, a fellow at the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, said: “America’s adversaries recognize the advantage of electromagnetic pulse and promote it as a 21st century means of attack.
"Iran mentions EMP over 20 times in its military doctrine. Evidence suggests that North Korea even simulated an EMP attack in 2013."
Peter Pry, chief of staff for the Congressional EMP Commission, added: 'One of the things that’s new in the EMP world is the military doctrines of our potential adversaries.
"They don’t plan to come after us just with nuclear EMP — it’s a combination of all these threats: physical sabotage, cyberattacks and EMP."