World Major US pipeline network shuts after ‘cybersecurity attack’
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A major pipeline operator in the United States has been forced to shut its entire network after a cyber attack, the company said.
Colonial Pipeline said in alate on Friday that it was the victim of “a cybersecurity attack”.
“In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems,” it said.
Ransomware Attackers Strike the ‘Jugular’ of U.S. Gas With Shut Down of Major Pipeline
After repeated warnings about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure following a wave of ransomware attacks in recent weeks, a mysterious new criminal group took matters to an extreme this weekend and forced the shutdown of one of the largest gas pipelines in the U.S. The FBI, the Energy Department, and the White House are all on the case and assessing the damage after Colonial Pipeline announced Friday it had shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline along the East Coast, potentially disrupting supplies of gasoline and jet fuel in a huge swath of the country.
Colonial’s network supplies fuel from US refiners on the Gulf Coast to the populous eastern and southern United States.
The company transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products through 8,850km (5,500 miles) of pipelines.
Colonial Pipeline says it transports 45 percent of the east coast fuel supply.
“The fact that this attack compromised systems that control pipeline infrastructure indicates that either the attack was extremely sophisticated or the systems were not well secured,” said Mike Chapple, a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and a former computer scientist with the US National Security Agency.
“This pipeline shutdown sends the message that core elements of our national infrastructure continue to be vulnerable to cyberattack,” Chapple told the Reuters news agency.
Cyberattack on US pipeline carried out by criminal gang: Report
The cyberattack should serve as a wake-up call to companies about the vulnerabilities they face, experts say.The shutdown, meanwhile, stretched into its third day, with the Biden administration loosening regulations for the transport of petroleum products on highways as part of an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to avoid disruptions in the fuel supply.
In its statement, the company said it had hired a private security firm to investigate the hack and contacted law enforcement and US federal authorities.
“At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway,” it said.
The US was rocked in recent months by news of two major cybersecurity breaches.
The massive SolarWinds hack compromised thousands of US government and private-sector computer networks and was officially blamed on Russia; while another hack targeted Microsoft email servers.
The latter is believed to have affected at least 30,000 US organisations including local governments and was attributed to an aggressive Chinese cyber-espionage campaign.
Both breaches appeared to be aimed at stealing emails and data but they also created “back doors” that could allow attacks on physical infrastructure, The New York Times reported.
Petrol Shortage In the United States: Colonal Pipeline restarts, return to progressive normal .
© AFP - Seyllou A man Full of his car (image of illustration) The pipeline colonial pipeline, whose Operation has been hacked, could restart. After five days of chaos with gasoline pumps, a state of emergency declared in four states - Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina - the situation should soon return to normal. With our correspondent in New York, Carrie Nooten in just a few days, the piracy of Colonial Pipeline's pipeline caused panic.