Lloyd’s and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies have released a new report called “Business Blackout.” The May 2015 report models the economic and insurance losses that could result from a major cyber attack on the US power grid, describing a scenario in which hackers have shut down parts of the US power grid and left 15 states, the District of Columbia, and 93 million people without power.
Mortality rises with health system disruptions. Trade, commerce, and infrastructure losses mount. The hit to the US economy is estimated at $243 billion and insured losses are estimated at over $21 billion. In the most extreme scenarios, these estimates rise to more than $1 trillion in economic damages and over $71 billion in insured losses.
The report is being met with skepticism by some, according to PoliticoPro.
“I do agree, the scenario isn’t impossible, but it is very thin on details and supposes a very high degree of [technological] uniformity among the generators (which simply isn’t the case),” said Patrick Miller, founder of the Energy Sector Security Consortium, a Washington state-based nonprofit. “This was a research paper commissioned by an insurance company. It should be no surprise that the results strongly favor a position where more insurance would be desirable.”