Markey Asks Upton to Pass GRID Act and Ensure that Chinese Hackers Don’t Leave Us in the Dark

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

New industry report implicates Chinese government in attempted hacking of U.S. power grid

WASHINGTON (February 20, 2013) – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today called on Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to quickly pass cybersecurity legislation that would protect our electrical grid from potentially devastating attacks.

Yesterday, a cybersecurity company released a detailed analysis of the activities of the most prolific hacking group in China. The report tied this group to a specific branch of the People’s Liberation Army of China and implicated these hackers in thousands of attacks directed at hundreds of U.S. companies. Most troubling were the theft of blueprints for the software control systems that control parts of our electrical grid, and hacking efforts that literally left the electronic infiltrators a keystroke away from being able to cause widespread destruction to our electrical infrastructure.

The letter from Rep. Markey to Chairman Upton can be found HERE.

“These revelations are yet another sign that we cannot wait until we are literally sitting in the dark to address vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure to cyber attacks,” said Rep. Markey. “I urge Chairman Upton to once again take up the bipartisan legislation we passed together in 2010, but which died in the Senate, and act quickly to secure our electrical infrastructure from cyber terrorists.”

In the 111th Congress, Reps. Markey and Upton introduced H.R. 5026, the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense (GRID) Act, which gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the clear authority to issue regulations to combat known cyber-vulnerabilities. The legislation passed by a vote of 47-0 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and unanimously in the full House of Representatives. Since that time, the electric utility sector has lobbied aggressively against the measure, preventing adoption of this critical legislation.

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