It's often Third Parties
Remember the US contractor who, when vacationing in the USSR, stoked up his laptop and communicated with a SCADA system, I believe in the Chicago area? All sorts of accusations of Russian spies and the like?
This is the sort of thing that should be unnecessary. Then, it is believed, a Russian technician introduced the virus/malware into the Iranian nuclear material refinement program.
It is heartening, to me to least, to hear that a Indochinese country that is purchasing electricity from China and other neighbours refuses to permit automatic interconnected network controls with these external suppliers.
Furthermore, it has established it's very own fibre network that is 100% dedicated command and control + communications network.which is 'sterile'. There are absolutely no external connections and since the SCADA scandals has even prohibited anyone from connecting any device to it other than through a secure access point.
The US, and Canada, are so incestuously interconnected.
The Northeast blackout of 1965 was a significant disruption in the supply of electricity on 1965 November 9 affecting parts of Ontario in Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey.
It was caused by by an adjustable safety relay being set too low.
The 2003 Northeast blackout widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada, on 2003 August 14, which lasted up to five days in some areas, including parts of Toronto.
You have never, ever seen so many official fingers pointing at each other and even across the Canada/US border. One the heat had cooled it was determined the problem lay in Ohio!
Being profit motivated, i.e. 'cheap', these outfits who formerly ran their own communications networks which included extensive microwave strings over hundreds and thousands of miles, regarded the InterNet as the best thing to come along since Edison.
Down came strings of microwave towers and dishes which were replaced with a pair of wire to the local telco.
The other thing with power and utility companies is that they are frequently technically 'conservative' and having adopted SCADA to find that this new, alien, technology is responsible is responsible for system failures is more than a little disturbing.
One benefit the US phantom war on terrorism has done is to sensitise the authorities to the vulnerabilities they face, even though the general public has to suffer harassment and embarrassments whilst travelling.
Systems are even more interconnected today and the elimination of these computer threats are a matter of national security. Canada and the US, along with many other countries, assume, foolishly, their electrical supplies are immune to attack.
Living in a country where power failure is a regular occurrence does persuade people to look to alternate power sources. My office, and home, have standby battery systems - LED lighting works from 12 volts - as well as standby generators with well-filled fuel tanks.