Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issued a warning to American companies: our adversaries have the capability to shut down the entire U.S. power grid.
When Granholm was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about vulnerabilities in the electricity grid and whether a foreign actor has the ability to shut it down, Granholm said, “Yeah, they do. There are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally.”
In recent months, cyberattacks have led to temporary shutdowns of the country’s largest fuel pipeline network and the world’s largest meatpacking company, both believed to have been carried out by Russian hackers. The hackers target companies through weaknesses in their cybersecurity and then hold hostage certain data and systems, demanding payment to restore control back to the company.
Granholm emphasized that companies need to defend themselves against this threat by increasing their cybersecurity measures. “Everyone needs to wake up and up their game in terms of protecting themselves, but also in terms of telling the federal government if they are a target of attacks,” she said.