Tag Archives: cybersecurity

Experts Anticipate Iran’s Next Move Will Include Cyberattacks on U.S. Energy Infrastructure

Security experts nationwide warn that the United States should expect serious cyberattacks from Iran in the next few months. The anticipated attacks, retaliation for United States’ killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani, are likely to include as targets oil refineries and other energy infrastructure.  The specific targets, and whether the attacks will be state-sponsored and strategic or carried out by individuals or smaller groups,… More

Cybersecurity 2020 — The Year in Preview: The Energy Sector’s Growing Vulnerability to Cyberattack

The electric power grid is subject to escalating threats of attack by foreign adversaries and individual bad actors.  While no U.S. utilities have been seriously compromised to date, in 2015, Ukraine’s electric grid was hit by a cyberattack that led to a lengthy blackout affecting approximately 250,000 people. There is growing recognition that cyberattacks have the potential to be even more malicious, disrupting increasingly digitized critical energy infrastructure.  … More

FERC and NERC Talk Grid Resilience and Cybersecurity

On March 22, 2019, Foley Hoag hosted the New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable, organized by Raab Associates. The roundtable featured keynote addresses by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur—who recently announced she will be stepping down later this year—and North American Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) CEO and President James Robb. Both took turns addressing the most pressing issues in energy.… More

Debate over Cybersecurity Oversight for Gas Pipeline and Bulk Power Systems Continues

Earlier this month, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Chairman Neil Chaterjee testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on issues related to cybersecurity in the energy industry.

In his testimony, Chaterjee seemed to soften at least his messaging, if not his position, calling for increased mandatory oversight of cybersecurity for gas pipelines.  In a joint letter written last June,… More

Cybersecurity 2019 — The Year in Preview: Security Threats to the Energy Grid

While 2018 has been a year of unprecedented and escalating cyber-related threats generally, such has certainly been the case with respect to attacks on the nation’s domestic energy facilities. For example, a media report from earlier this year describes hackers’ successful infiltration of the control rooms of multiple electric utilities.  According to the article, and many others like it, attacks by both independent and state-sponsored hackers pose an on-going and constant threat to the security of the nation’s bulk power system. … More

Escalation of Cybersecurity Threats to National Power System Prompts FERC to Call for Stricter Reporting Standards

On July 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”), pursuant to its authority under section 215 of the Federal Power Act, issued a final rule directing the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) to develop modifications to NERC’s Reliability Standards as they relate to cyber security incidents. Issuance of the final rule is timely. A recent news article described hackers’ successful infiltration of the control rooms of multiple electric utilities.… More

Cybersecurity 2017 – The Year in Preview: Energy and Security

By Christopher Cifrono

In 2015, a sophisticated cyberattack hit six of Ukraine’s energy providers simultaneously, causing a blackout for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.  The U.S. has thus far evaded similar attacks, but the energy sector remains of vital strategic importance.  Because it has long been considered a prime target for cyber threats, from cybercriminals and foreign states alike, regulators, especially at the federal level,… More