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U.S. offers $25M cybersecurity grant after gas line pipe attacks

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. wants to fund research targeting better cybersecurity for the nation’s power grid and the oil and natural gas industry, less than a month after web attacks hobbled electronic communications for several pipeline operators.

The agency is making $25 million in grants available for projects that pursue new approaches to making the energy sector more resilient to cyberattacks. The deadline for applications is June 18, according to a statement Monday.

Earlier this month, at least seven U.S. pipeline companies said their electronic communications systems were shut down, with five confirming the disruptions were caused by a web attack. The threat followed a U.S. government warning in March that Russian hackers are conducting an assault on the electric grid and other targets.

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The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) stands near Copperville, Alaska, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Four decades after the Trans Alaska Pipeline System went live, transforming the North Slope into a modern-day Klondike, many Alaskans fear the best days have passed. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

In February, Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced the department would use $96 million in funding to create an office to address cyber threats to energy.

“Energy cybersecurity is a national priority that demands the next wave of advanced technologies to create more secure and resilient systems,” Perry said in the statement Monday.

Bloomberg News