The Washington Post

Official: China is ‘big threat’ to U.S. energy


The U.S. energy industry must shore up protection against cyberattac­ks from China, a more pressing concern than attacks from Russia amid its war on Ukraine, according to a senior government cybersecur­ity official.

“The big threat we all need to be concerned about is China,” said Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecur­ity and Infrastruc­ture Security Agency, during a dinner event Thursday at Ceraweek by S&P Global. “Russia is the hurricane and China is climate change.”

Amid heightened security concerns in East Asia that China may consider an invasion of Taiwan, Easterly said a key lesson from Ukraine is that China would need to put American infrastruc­ture at risk to increase the chances of a successful campaign against the region it considers a breakaway province. There haven’t been any significan­t cyberattac­ks from Russia, which has avoided escalating a conflict with the U.S., she said.

Her comments came as intelligen­ce officials told lawmakers this week that China was the country’s top threat.

While many energy firms responded to CISA’S Shields Up campaign introduced last year, critical industries including power providers need to build redundanci­es and manual overrides to withstand attacks, she said. Executives also need to embrace national security as a matter of corporate governance.

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