Pipeline company suspends some operations after cyber attack

Washington (AP) — The company that operates the major energy pipelines in the United States says it had to temporarily shut down all pipeline operations in the wake of a cybersecurity attack.

What you need to know

  • Colonial Pipeline says it was a victim of a cyberattack on Friday
  • According to the company, it transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.
  • The attack affected some information technology systems and shut down all pipeline operations
  • Attacks are investigated by an external cybersecurity company

The Colonial Pipeline said in a statement that the attack took place on Friday, affecting parts of the information technology system. The company is the largest refined product pipeline in the United States, transporting approximately 45% of all fuels consumed on the East Coast, including gasoline, diesel fuel and household kerosene.

The company, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, said it had hired an external cybersecurity company to investigate the nature and extent of the attack and also contacted law enforcement and federal agencies.

“The Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue,” the company said in a statement late Friday. “At this point, our main focus is on safe and efficient restoration of services and efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway and we have addressed this issue and We are committed to minimizing confusion for our customers and those who rely on our colonial pipeline. “

The exact nature of the incident was unknown, including who launched the attack and what motivated it.

Mike Chapple, a professor of IT, analysis and operations at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza Business College and a former computer scientist at the National Security Agency, said that systems that control pipelines must not be connected to the Internet. He said it should be vulnerable to cyber intrusion.

“The attack was so sophisticated that it could either defeat a fairly high degree of security control or did not have adequate security control in place,” says Chapple.

The Colonial Pipeline said it transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily through a pipeline system spanning more than 5,500 miles between Texas and New Jersey.

The FBI and the White House National Security Council did not immediately return a message asking for comment. The Federal Cyber ​​Security Infrastructure and Security Agency has queried the company questions about the incident.

Hackers’ unsuccessful attempts to poison water supplies in small Florida cities have warned of how vulnerable the country’s critical infrastructure is to attacks by more sophisticated intruders.

Anne Neuberger, National Security Adviser for the Biden administration’s cybersecurity and emerging technologies, said in an interview with the Associated Press in April that the government could potentially damage power companies, water districts and other important industries. He said he is working on new initiatives to protect against the cyberattacks he gives. .. She said the goal is to ensure that control systems that serve more than 50,000 Americans have the core technology to detect and block malicious cyber activity. ..

Since then, the White House has aimed to protect the country’s power system from cyberattacks by improving the ability of power plant and utility owners and operators to identify cyber threats to their networks. Announced daily initiatives. It contains specific milestones that enable you to use technology to detect and respond to intrusions in real time. The Justice Department has also announced a new task force to combat ransomware attacks. In this task force, hackers who demand payment from victims to release the data seize the data.

Pipeline company suspends some operations after cyber attack

Source link Pipeline company suspends some operations after cyber attack

Back to top button