Cybersecurity Crude by rail

Blake Sobczak

Reporter

Bsobczak
202-446-0400

Blake covers security for EnergyWire in Washington, D.C., focusing on efforts to protect the oil, gas and electricity industries from cyberattacks and other threats. He writes about how hackers have applied their tools and techniques to break into -- and often break -- physical systems. His reporting has taken him to China and Israel for firsthand looks at how global powers approach cyberwarfare. Blake graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University in 2012 with a double major in journalism and Arabic. He was an intern at the Associated Press' Jerusalem bureau before joining E&E.

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SECURITY

Cyber raises threat against America's energy backbone

Five years ago, an attack on nearly two dozen U.S. natural gas utilities set off alarm bells in the U.S. intelligence community. A hacker using the nickname UglyGorilla stole troves of sensitive data from gas pipeline companies, breaching the nation's 300,000-mile web of steel that's a critical backbone for the nation's economy. Since then, increased reliance on natural gas for power generation has made the gas transmission system one of the most consequential hacking targets in the country.