An EMP attack is an explosion of electromagnetic energy that can cause dramatic voltage surges in electrical systems, resulting in the shutdown of large areas of electrical networks, systems, and devices. It is associated with intentional attacks that use high-altitude nuclear detonations, specialized conventional munitions, or directed non-nuclear energy devices. Unlike cyberattacks that target electrical grid computer systems, EMPs act at the physical level and affect a wider range of systems, such as car engines, mobile phone transmitters, transformers, and backup power generating systems. The effects of an EMP attack on technology depend on the pulse rate (or the speed at which the Earth's magnetic field fluctuates).
An EMP can physically damage objects such as buildings and aircraft. Managing EMP effects is a branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering. Some types of EMP events can leave an optical trail, such as lightning and sparks, but these are side effects of current flow through the air and are not part of the EMP itself. If the Sun ejects enough plasma at a time, the impact can cause the magnetic field to wobble, resulting in a powerful EMP attack. In the war with EMP, the advantage lies with the first to attack, since the attack has a paralyzing effect on the vital systems of the target country, with limited second-attack capacity. In conclusion, an EMP attack is an explosion of electromagnetic energy that can cause dramatic voltage surges in electrical systems and affect a wide range of systems.
Managing EMP effects is a branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.