Update on the Delta-Montrose Electric Association cyber attack
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - On Sunday, Nov. 7, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association became aware of unauthorized access by a third party. The attempt was apparently to attack certain parts of their internal network system, resulting in multiple days of downtime for DMEA’s internal network.
When DMEA became aware of the attack on the seventh, they immediately began investigating and secured a cybersecurity expert to assess the extent of the incident and identify solutions for restoration. The investigation is still ongoing.
“In the process about 90% of our internal controls and systems were corrupted or broken or disabled,” said DMEA CEO Alyssa Clemsen Roberts. “And we lost the majority of our historical data for the last 20-25 years. Since then we have been slowly rebuilding our network.”
Now that they have completed the first few weeks of the investigation, they say they are highly confident that no sensitive information was compromised. The only inconvenience to their members is that they cannot currently accept payments over the phone or online. They say it’s more of an inconvenience or a worry to their members, but that their information is safe.
”Right now we just cannot take payments and our phone system is still slightly disabled,” said Roberts. “What I can tell you is our power grid is strong, we’re still providing power. Our fiber network is strong, we’re still providing internet. And I am highly confident that no member sensitive information was reached.”
DMEA says everything should be back to normal in two weeks, and customers will once again be able to make their payments online or by phone like normal. They also say they have stopped all late fees and disconnects until the end of January. In the mean time, members can either wait to pay their bills until the issue has been resolved, or they can pay by check either in person or by mail.
Moving forward, DMEA says they are committed to investing in any security improvement recommendations that result from the investigation so this does not happen again.
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