Washington: – US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm informed, ‘The adversaries of the United States have the capability of bringing the huge power grid in the United States to a grinding halt through cyberattacks. Such attacks are a routine. An attack may be happening even while I am saying this.’ Granholm appealed that the private companies should not pay a ransom, falling prey to cyber threats of ransomware attacks. Last month, the group that attacked the largest US pipeline extorted a ransom of USD 5 million from the fuel company. The Granholm appeal comes in that context.
Major cyberattacks were carried out, in the last month, on the most extensive US fuel pipeline, JBS, the largest meat processing company in the United States, Ferry Service and two news channels. It is claimed that all these attacks were from the ransomware category. Before that, cyber attackers also targeted big tech companies like Microsoft and FireEye, along with important government agencies.
Christopher Wray, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, compared these cyber and ransomware attacks on private companies and government agencies to the 9/11 terror attack. The FBI chief said that the challenges posed by these attacks are similar to the 9/11 attack and warned that the US population has to face many upheavals.
Following this warning issued by the FBI chief, Secretary of Energy, Granholm, expressed concerns regarding the cyberattacks during an interview with leading US news channels. Granholm said that the adversaries of the United States have the capability of shutting down the electrical equipment in the United States, and thousands of cyberattacks are happening on various fronts in the energy sector. Therefore, according to Granholm, everyone must unite against these cyberattacks. Furthermore, Granholm appealed that the companies attacked should not accede to the demand of the attackers to pay a ransom.
US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also warned that the incidence of cyberattacks would increase in the coming times while speaking to a news channel. Raimondo said that the US food and energy sectors are the priority targets for these cyber attackers. Both the secretaries claimed that the Biden administration is making efforts to stop these cyberattacks. But senators, citizens and media have started criticising the Biden administration.
The incidence of cyberattacks on private and government companies in the United States has increased. It is claimed that even the intensity of cyberattacks has increased manifold in the last two months. Criticism is being made that the Biden administration has failed in stopping or retaliating against the cyberattacks. Repercussions of this have been felt even in the US Senate. The Biden administration was questioned regarding the cyber and ransomware attacks in the inquiry committee of the US Senate.