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This paper aims at reviewing existing communication structure for the power grids, discusses the emerging smart grid initiatives and analyzes the cyber security threats to such smart grid systems. The 21st century world is more dependent on electrical power than ever. This dependency will increase manifold in the near future with more systems being computerized and a plethora of new electronic devices emerging for household, commercial and industrial applications. In such a scenario, the availability of secure, reliable and efficient power is crucial to sustaining current development and economic growth trends. With existing systems, power grids are not stable enough and can result in cascading failures.