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Puerto Rico power utility exec: Hackers request bitcoins to unlock internal email

By on March 19, 2018

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) Interim Executive Director Justo González confirmed Monday that there was a hacking attempt on the public corporation’s internal email system, for which a transfer of bitcoins was requested in return for unblocking the platform.

“I was given information about a hacking attempt, but I don’t know how far they got. It has nothing to do with customer information. It was of the internal mail system,” González told members of the press.

In other matters, González said the last phase to restore energy service on the island will be conducted without the support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We are already in the most devastated area, which is the Caguas region, which includes Yabucoa and Orocovis. Also, the towns of Morovis and Ciales. We are concentrating all efforts and transferring resources from other areas that are farther along and we are moving them to those areas. The goal is by March 31 to have 95 percent energized,” González announced. The process should be completed by the end of May.

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“We have the materials, staff configuration, and we have the strategy. We will use staff from the [Electric Power] Authority, we will use the company Cobra Energy, and we will have local contractors. We will also issue a request for proposals so three additional companies that are going to be hired by us will come in and we are already in that process,” he added.

As for the utility poles that could represent a hazard, the director said they are in the process fo removing them.

He urged residents to inform Prepa if they see a hazardous pole so it can take the proper measures. A pole that fell Saturday on a couple in Las Marías was not owned by the public corporation.

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