The United States and other countries should talk to countries such as Russia, which is believed to be the origin on some ransom-ware cyber-attacks, about law enforcement and intelligence cooperation “to shut it down”.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm cites cyber-attacks crippling US power grid and so, on Sunday she called for more public-private cooperation on cyber defences and said U.S. adversaries already are capable of using cyber intrusions to shut down the US power grid.
“I think that there are very malign actors who are trying”, she said. She added, “Even as we speak, there are thousands of cyber-attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally”.
Without mentioning the company by name, Granholm noted that Colonial Pipeline Co. was hit in May with a crippling cyber-attack by a ransom-ware group. Before paying $4.4 million to the hackers, Colonial temporarily shut down its gasoline distribution networks in the South. She urged energy companies to resist paying ransom.
“The bottom line is, people, whether you’re private sector, public sector, whatever, you shouldn’t be paying ransom-ware attacks, because it only encourages the bad guys”, said Granholm.
Granholm even spoke in favour of having a law that would ban paying such ransom, though she said, “I don’t know whether Congress or the president is at that point”.
Asked whether American adversaries have the capability now of shutting down the U.S. power grid, she said, “Yes, they do”.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States and other countries should talk to countries such as Russia, which is believed to be the origin on some ransom-ware cyber-attacks, about law enforcement and intelligence cooperation “to shut it down”.
Rice said this would “test the reality of how much the Russian government is or is not involved” in these cyber-attacks.
Granholm was on CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and Rice appeared on “Face the Nation” on CBS.