Colonial Pipeline fiasco shines a bright light on cybersecurity

The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline over the weekend is the type of event that should keep executives of any company operating critical infrastructure assets awake at night.  With the virus first detected in their system on Friday, the liquids pipeline system (which accounts for about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast) was forced to completely cease operations almost immediately to limit the spread across their various operational and control systems.  As of today, the pipeline indicates they are slowing bring various bits and pieces of the system back up, but they haven’t yet been able to give a timeline for when the system would be back in full operation.  Until then, petroleum liquids, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel continues to pile up in storage awaiting trucks to move from refineries to various customers and distributors from Houston to New York. The group behind the attack, called DarkSide, which apparently operates from Russia, seemed a bit surprised that their software was as effective as it was.  After the US federal government issued a rare emergency declaration, DarkSide issued a statement that said it wasn’t their intent to bring the whole system down and declared themselves to… continue reading

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