Jun 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Energy Secretary: U.S. adversaries likely trying to shut down power grid "as we speak"

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that U.S. adversaries have the capability to shut down the power grid, saying they are "trying even as we speak."

Why it matters: Granholm's warning comes as the public and private sectors are dealing with how to confront cyber threats after recent ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline, a major U.S. fuel pipeline, and JBS USA, a top meat supplier.

  • "It's [happening] all the time. This is why the private and public sector have to work together," Granholm said.

The big picture: Ransomware has recently become a "global pandemic" thanks to the rise of a profitable industry around it, writes Axios' Scott Rosenberg.

What they're saying: "The first thing we have to recognize is this is the reality, and we should assume — and businesses should assume, that these attacks are here to stay and if anything intensify," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told ABC's "This Week".

  • "It is clear that the private sector needs to be more vigilant," she added.
  • Asked if the Biden administration should take a more aggressive response to governments aiding these attacks, Raimondo said, "We're not taking anything off the table as we think about possible repercussions, consequences or retaliation."

Go deeper: Ransomware business achieves critical mass

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