Puerto Rico power utility hacked

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Puerto Rico’s power utility, PREPA, said on Monday it has been hacked over the weekend, but customer information was not compromised.

The computer infrastructure of PREPA, as the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is known, suffered a cyber attack on Sunday night, Executive Director Justo Gonzalez Torres said in a statement.


PREPA’s customer service system was not affected and customer information was not at risk, the information security training researchers said; though the attack led to longer wait times at its service center.

“In these moments we are protecting the systems and working to resolve the situation,” Gonzalez said, adding that investigations into the source of the hack were ongoing.

It is the latest in a series of headaches for PREPA, which last year filed a form of U.S. bankruptcy to shed some $9 billion in debt. Four months later, in September, its grid was virtually destroyed when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, knocking out power to all 3.4 million residents of the U.S. commonwealth.

A spokesman for Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has announced plans to privatize PREPA, which is burdened by outdated infrastructure and years of bloated administrative spending.

The news comes on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s blaming the Russian government last week for a campaign of cyber attacks targeting the U.S. power grid.

As of Monday evening, there was no indication that Russia was to blame for PREPA’s hack. When asked about potential sources of the attack, a spokesman for PREPA said the matter was “being investigated and referred to the relevant authorities,” declining to say who those information security training researchers and authorities were.