By Steve BowersPublished November 05, 2018 11:07:59As New Jersey Utilities Cooperative Utilities (NJUCU) struggles to keep power on, it has been plagued by cyber attacks and outages, prompting a public recall campaign and an ongoing investigation.NJUCUS was founded in the late 1800s and is the largest utility in the state, with more than 50,000 customers.
It provides power to more than 5 million customers, and has long been one of the state’s most profitable utilities.
The company has struggled to maintain a consistent service schedule as it grapples with a series of major cyberattacks.
A series of attacks that began late last month began by targeting power distribution company Edison Electric Institute (EIA), causing large outages.
That attack has caused thousands of power outages across the state and in parts of New Jersey, prompting more than 1,000 state employees to go on paid leave.
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie (R) issued a nationwide state of emergency last month, saying he would investigate how the attacks were carried out.
The attacks also affected the company’s computer network, disrupting the ability of NJUCUS to verify customers’ accounts and verify that the customers’ energy is still being used, said Jessica Graziano, a spokeswoman for NJUCU.
The outage also affected EIA’s payment systems.
A second wave of attacks came late last week, forcing NJUCUs power substations to close.
EIA said in a statement that it was working with the state to identify and restore power that is no longer available.NJECUs customers also have been able to access some power services, including some electricity from EIA, through a website and mobile apps.
But a utility spokesperson said that most customers can’t access the websites.NJucus said it has suspended its operations because of the cyberattacks and is working to get customers back on their schedule.
The company said it was still investigating what happened and has suspended all power to customers who were affected by the latest wave of attack.
But the outage has forced it to reopen the NJUCUCU website.