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Cyberattack Not Seen as Cause of South American Power Outage

Cyberattack Not Seen as Cause of South American Power Outage

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

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After a brief, widespread power failure Sunday that affected more than 50 million people in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Argentine officials began on Monday looking for the cause of the outage.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri quickly promised a thorough investigation. The probe is expected to take two to three weeks to complete, the Associated Press reported.

Phone, Internet Communications Affected by Outage

Argentina’s population of 44 million and residents of neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay awoke Sunday morning without electricity. Phone and internet communications were also disrupted.

Argentine Authorities Not Considering Cyberattack as a Possibility

Governments and utility companies are quick to act these days, fearing that power outages and grid failures could be the work of terrorists, hackers or unfriendly governments.

"At this moment, we do not rule out any possibilities,” Argentina’s Energy Secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, said. “But ... a cyberattack is not within the preliminary alternatives being considered," he added, according to United Press International.

Lopetegui called the blackout “an extraordinary event” that should never have happened.

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Blackout Began with Failure of Interconnection System

The blackout began with a failure in the country’s “interconnection system,” Lopetegui explained, adding that a chain of events ensued that caused the total disruption.

According to the Argentine power company Edesur, the system collapse occurred at 7:07 a.m. As of Sunday night, half of Argentina's power had been restored, including in Buenos Aires, CNN said.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."