A fire at an electrical station on the American island of Puerto Rico plunged thousands of residents into darkness on Thursday evening, June 10, shortly after the electricity supplier announced it had suffered a cyberattack.
“There was a fire in a transformer at the Monacillo substation”, a district of the capital San Juan, announced the supplier Luma Energy. Two hours earlier, the company explained that it was the target of a denial of service computer attack, a technique aimed at causing the closure of a website by overloading it with traffic.
This cyberattack, – which represented up to “Two million visits per second”, says Luma -, made ” difficult “ customer access to their online account. It comes weeks after Colonial Pipeline, the operator of a massive US pipeline, and global meat giant JBS, both fell victim to ransomware cyber attacks, or “Ransomware”, whose authors exploit security holes to block computer systems and then demand a ransom to unblock them.
The Colonial pipeline, the main source of gasoline for most of the eastern United States, had been temporarily shut down, causing stockouts in several major cities.
Luma had not established Thursday evening a link between the cyberattack and the fire, nor given estimates of the number of homes affected by the cuts. The fire has grown “Protection systems to be interrupted” the flow “To avoid more damage”, explains Luma on his Facebook account.
“The fire caused major power cuts throughout the island”, indicates the company, which provides “Work to restore service”.
Puerto Rico’s representative to the US Congress, Jenniffer González, said on Twitter that the power cuts affected more than 500,000 individuals. The governor of the island, Pedro Pierluisi, who reminds him of a “Explosion”, said “Take all the necessary actions to protect essential services, such as electrical service”. Authorities “Investigate the explosion” and those responsible “Will have to answer before the people of Puerto Rico”, he hammered on Twitter.
Luma Energy, a company created to manage Puerto Rico’s electricity grid, has only been operating since 1er June. On social media, images showed large plumes of black smoke above the power station, along with impressive flames and sparks.
” The restoring [du courant] will start in two hours and will continue overnight ”, wrote the supplier on Facebook at 7:40 p.m. local time (1:40 a.m., Friday, Paris time).