The closing of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline system at the hands of hackers illustrates how at risk the infrastructure is to cyberattacks, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Monday.
“It tells you how utterly vulnerable we are,” Granholm said during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power” program. “We’re seeing all of these examples of ransomware attacks coming — whether it’s telecommunications or this critical infrastructure. And obviously in my lane I’m very worried about the energy infrastructure.”
Granholm referenced the recent SolarWinds Corp. hack which affected hundreds of businesses and several federal agencies, referring to it as an attack on the transmission grid.
Alpharetta, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Co. Friday halted all operations on the 5,500-mile pipeline system, a critical supply of gasoline and other refined products to New York and other cities along the east coast, after it fell victim to a ransomware attack by hackers.
Colonial says it transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, providing refined products to more than 50 million Americans.
The company said it expects to have service substantially restored by week’s end.