•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Gas prices and security lessons: What the U.S. pipeline hack means for Canada

23:10  10 may  2021
23:10  10 may  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

U.S. 'highly unlikely' to order Line 5 shut down as deadline on crucial pipeline nears, chief negotiator says

  U.S. 'highly unlikely' to order Line 5 shut down as deadline on crucial pipeline nears, chief negotiator says OTTAWA — The United States is “highly unlikely” to order the shutdown of a critical cross-border oil pipeline ahead of a looming deadline next week, Canada’s chief negotiator on the file says. Last November, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for the shutdown of Line 5, a crucial conduit that cuts across the Great Lakes and supplies oil and other petroleum products to a major refinery in Ontario. Her directive, which cited concerns over potential oil spills, sought to block the pipeline by May 13. Canadian officials have been pressing the U.S.

The cyberattack and extortion attempt at Colonial Pipeline in the U.S. is considered to be the worst to date on critical American infrastructure.

a large building that has a sign on a cloudy day: Colonial Pipeline storage tanks are seen in Woodbridge, N.J., Monday, May 10, 2021. Gasoline futures are ticking higher following a cyberextortion attempt on the Colonial Pipeline, a vital U.S. pipeline that carries fuel from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) © Provided by Global News Colonial Pipeline storage tanks are seen in Woodbridge, N.J., Monday, May 10, 2021. Gasoline futures are ticking higher following a cyberextortion attempt on the Colonial Pipeline, a vital U.S. pipeline that carries fuel from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Experts are still mulling what it might mean for Canada, but say the country is not immune to trickle-down effects -- whether it be through gas prices or more symbolic implications, like our own infrastructure's cybersecurity.

NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 6, 2021

  NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 6, 2021 Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Devan Dubnyk and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov.Calgary – TBA (previously Josh Leivo)

Here's what we know so far.

The Georgia-based pipeline shut down its entire network Friday after learning of a cyberattack on its systems. A financial ransom was demanded, though it's unclear whether the private company paid one.

The company and the U.S. government have both blamed ransomware for the massive outage.

Read more: What we know and what we don’t about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

The finger is currently being pointed at organized cybercriminal gangs. The FBI believes a group called DarkSide was among the suspects, though experts emphasize that it can be extremely difficult to attribute definitive blame to any certain group for malicious activity online.

Colonial launched an investigation via a private security association to assess potential damage. It is in the process of restarting portions of its network. Its main pipeline remained offline as of Monday morning, but some smaller lines were operational again.

The Best Beauty Hack for Full Lips! So you wear Liplin properly for a mega effect

 The Best Beauty Hack for Full Lips! So you wear Liplin properly for a mega effect added, the Liplin had a rather "bad" call for a long time. Not because it is impractical or superfluous - because the opposite is the case. But because he was "wrong". Especially in the 90s and 00s, a dark border was combined with a bright lipstick or lip gloss in trend - and already the "bad" call of the Lipliner was born. And that, although he can be a real enrichment in every make-up look - especially when a lipstick is in the game.

The company has not provided any public indication about the reach of the breach, but White House officials said the company "has not suffered any damage and can be brought back online relatively quickly."

Colonial said Monday it expects to "substantially" restore operational service by the end of the week.

Video: U.S. Commerce secretary says cyber attacks on energy infrastructure ‘top priority’ after Colonial Pipeline impacted

Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst at En-Pro, called Colonial Pipeline the "lifeblood of supply and pricing to the Eastern seaboard."

The pipeline's network carries 2.5 million barrels a day -- approximately 45 per cent of the East Coast's supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel. It transports products through 10 states, between Texas and New Jersey. It also serves major U.S. airports.

"Right now there is not a supply shortage," U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall told reporters in a briefing. "We are preparing for multiple possible contingencies because that's our job."

Ransomware Attack: Important pipeline in the US is silent

 Ransomware Attack: Important pipeline in the US is silent The operator of one of the most important pipeline networks in the US has been attacked with ransomware. Now the attackers are threatened with a data leak. © Kodda / Shutterstock In the US, an important pipeline network is quiet. After the US company Colonial Pipeline had to take one of the most important US pipelines from the net on Friday because of a hacker attack, you now threaten duplicate blackmail.

U.S. fuel prices at the pump were largely unaffected on Monday, but gasoline futures ticked higher.

Fuel futures -- prices that traders pay for contracts for delivery at some point in the future -- tend to rise as the driving season approaches. The price at the pumps tends to follow from there.

Read more: Largest refined pipeline operator in U.S. shuts down network after cyberattack

Experts say regional fuel supplies could be impacted if the outage continues -- including in Canada.

The Colonial Pipeline is a "physical supply artery of refined products" to the New York Harbour, where daily futures prices are set, said McKnight.

Gasoline futures jumped as high as 4.2 per cent Monday, according to multiple reports, before paring back gains.

"If and when New York Harbour futures spike, they will also jump in Ontario and Quebec overnight," he said.

In the short term, however, Canadian gas experts aren't convinced the shutdown will move the needle on prices significantly.

"There may be a very slight impact on Canadian prices if this problem lingers more than a day or two longer, but it should be fairly tame, at maybe a few cents per litre," Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told Global News via email.

Corbella: The best thing for Canada would be to shut down Line 5 pipeline — just for a while

  Corbella: The best thing for Canada would be to shut down Line 5 pipeline — just for a while A part of me wants Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline to shut down, if only for a few months, not because I wish our country ill, but because I want what’s best for it. What’s best for Canada is energy self-sufficiency and security, and that’s simply impossible without pipelines. Shutting down this vital energy lifeline, even temporarily, would provide a collective slap to the lives and livelihoods of Ontarians and Quebecers — along with their pandering What’s best for Canada is energy self-sufficiency and security, and that’s simply impossible without pipelines.

But it's not the pipeline itself that would impact Canada, he said.

Any effect on prices here would "simply due to the fact the U.S. refining hub may need to slow down production since the Colonial Pipeline isn't moving products out of refineries," de Haan said.

"If the U.S. refining hub in Texas has to slow operations down due to no takeaway of product -- that would be a big hit... potentially similar to the cold weather outages seen in February."

Read more: Ransomware demands double amid COVID-19, with health care industry a key target, report shows

If the shutdown is prolonged, "meaning more than a week," Canada could see more serious effects on prices of all gasoline grades, diesel and jet fuel, according to McKnight.

In response to the attack, the Biden administration loosened 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.

"The last time the Colonial went down was because of (hurricane) Katrina," he said via email.

"That was physically fixable. This time I'm not so sure."

Video: Market and Business Report May 10 2021

Outside of gas price fluctuations, experts say the cyberattack should serve as a wake-up call to critical national industrial infrastructure -- not just businesses.

Ted Morton: Canada may win the Line 5 battle, but we're still losing the war

  Ted Morton: Canada may win the Line 5 battle, but we're still losing the war The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline confrontation is political theatre at its best and worst. But this doesn’t mean it’s inconsequential. There is virtually zero chance that the Governor of Michigan can unilaterally close down an existing pipeline that crosses both state and international boundaries. This type of issue is way outside any one state’s jurisdiction. But this doesn’t mean that Canada will have won. We may win this battle, but we are still losing the war to Blockadia — the well-organized, well-financed crusade to block oil pipelines out of Canada, and, by extension, to shut down the Canadian oilsands.

Over the past few decades, there has been a "merging" of systems within critical infrastructure networks that has "created a whole new attack surface," said Florian Kerschbaum, the executive director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at the University of Waterloo.

"Pipelines, electricity grids, water supply -- they're all now equipped with electronic network equipment. So the pipeline is controlled by equipment that ultimately has a connection to the internet," he said.

"You no longer have two separate kids of networks.... It's not fundamentally a new type of attack, what's new is that criminals are now exploiting it."

Kerschbaum said Canada is far from immune from these types of attacks.

"I would say every country in the world is at risk for these types of interference," he said. "We have hydro, nuclear power lines.... We have lots of things in critical infrastructure we need to protect."

Read more: Ransomware attacks on critical Canadian businesses ‘almost certain’ to continue, report says

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security would not directly comment on the Colonial Pipeline situation, but it regularly shares information with partners under the Five Eyes alliance.

"While we can’t confirm or deny, or offer specific details on the intelligence shared, threat information to help defend against critical infrastructure threats is regularly shared and acted upon as appropriate," Evan Koronewski, a spokesperson for the Communications Security Establishment, said in an emailed statement.

NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 14, 2021

  NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 14, 2021 Players in the COVID protocol are: St. Louis' Jake Walman and Nathan Walker, and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov.St.

Koronewski pointed to the 2020 National Cyber Threat Assessment, which concluded that ransomware directed against Canada will "almost certainly continue to target large enterprises and critical infrastructure providers."

"As Canadians adopt new technology and embrace more internet-connected devices, the cyber threats will continue to grow," he wrote.

The "bigger trend of operational technology" is a "balancing act" that many industries and companies are facing increasingly, Kerschbaum said.

Video: Gov’t agency warns infrastructure at risk from cyberattacks

While this type of technology can provide benefits in management and reduced operational cost, and can provide cheaper oil and energy, it also increases the risk of attacks like these, he said.

"We have to balance investments in more secure software, in educating people, in providing correct confirmations in certain types of separations between these types of technologies -- like firewalls and stronger authentication," he said.

"There's a lot of aspects where we can improve the secure operations despite using the benefits of this new operational technology."

-- with files from Reuters and The Associated Press

From takeout to gas prices, how to protect yourself from rising inflation .
Canada's inflation is inching upward. Here's why and how long it might last.In the U.S., the annual rate of inflation reached 4.2 per cent in April, the biggest 12-month jump since 2008. In Canada, the latest available numbers show consumer prices rising by 2.2 per cent year-over-year in March, double the annual rate recorded in February.

usr: 10
This is interesting!