Vitality chief cites threat of cyberattacks crippling energy grid

Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm is urging extra public-private cooperation on cyber defenses, and he or she says U.S. adversaries already are able to utilizing cyber intrusions to close down the facility grid

WASHINGTON — Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday known as for extra public-private cooperation on cyber defenses and mentioned U.S. adversaries already are able to utilizing cyber intrusions to close down the U.S. energy grid.

“I feel that there are very malign actors who’re attempting,” she mentioned. She added: “At the same time as we converse, there are literally thousands of assaults on all elements of the vitality sector and the non-public sector usually.”

Granholm famous, with out mentioning the corporate by title, that Colonial Pipeline Co. was hit in Might with a crippling cyberattack by a ransomware group. Colonial briefly shut down its gasoline distribution networks within the South earlier than paying $4.4 million to the hackers. She urged vitality firms to withstand paying ransom.

“The underside line is, folks, whether or not you’re non-public sector, public sector, no matter, you shouldn’t be paying ransomware assaults, as a result of it solely encourages the unhealthy guys,” she mentioned.

Granholm even spoke in favor of getting a legislation that might ban paying such ransom, although she mentioned, “I don’t know whether or not Congress or the president is at that time.”

Requested whether or not American adversaries have the potential now of shutting down the U.S. energy grid, she mentioned: “Sure, they do.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mentioned the US and different nations ought to speak to nations corresponding to Russia, which is believed to be the origin on some ransomware assaults, about legislation enforcement and intelligence cooperation “to close it down.”

Rice mentioned this might “check the truth of how a lot the Russian authorities is or is just not concerned” in these assaults.

Granholm was on CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and Rice appeared on “Face the Nation” on CBS.

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