Florida Utility Company Hit by Cyber Attack

Share it on Twitter  
Share it on Facebook  
Share it on Linked in  

The Web site and automated phone system for Florida's JEA (formerly the Jacksonville Electric Authority) were hit by a denial-of-service attack that started on Sunday and continued through Wednesday morning.

"JEA is the seventh-largest community-owned electric utility in the United States and one of the largest water and sewer utilities in the nation providing electric, water and sewer service to residents and businesses in northeast Florida," writes The Jacksonville Business Journal's Michael Clinton.

"Unable to pay their bills online Tuesday morning, JEA customers were standing in line at its payment centers," writes First Coast News' Ken Amaro. "'I tried two days ago and was not successful in getting anything done online,' said Lacrecia Anderson. Anderson normally pays her bill online and was in the dark as to why the website was not working. 'My payment was due I was kind of scared that my lights were going to cut off,' she said."

"The electronic mischief wasn’t affecting power plants or water and sewer operations, JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said," writes The Florida Times-Union's Steve Patterson. "But the utility wasn’t able to process payments through its automatic phone system or over its website. The cyber attack was inundating the utility’s computers with so much data that it overloaded them. 'It slowed down and basically brought our website to a complete stop,' Boyce said."

"CEO Paul McElroy ... assured the public that the attack had not compromised any important information," writes The Jacksonville Daily Record's Joe Wilhelm Jr. "'There was absolutely no penetration into our system. The electric, water, sewer, financial and customer systems have all been protected. I wanted to publicly apologize for this discomfort and difficulty it has created for our customers who have been trying to reach us through jea.com,' said McElroy."