LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach will look to better prepare for the threat of cyber attacks after a new report found the nation’s largest port system could be vulnerable, officials said Wednesday.
The study from the Brookings Institute entitled “The Critical Infrastructure Gap: U.S. Port Facilities and Cyber Vulnerabilities” cited data indicating almost 50 percent of California’s gasoline supply comes from foreign imports, the vast majority of which arrives on tankers at Los Angeles or Long Beach.
The report warned a cyber disruption at either port could impact 20 percent of the U.S. maritime transportation system – with dire economic consequences.
“In just a matter of days store shelves throughout the country would start to run empty, and the movement of 17 million Southern Californians, along with their economy, would be idled,” the report stated.
Captain John Holmes, the deputy director for operations at the Port of L.A., told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the findings estimated any fallout from such an attack would also severely cripple the U.S. economy at large.