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Politics Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids

01:50  11 may  2021
01:50  11 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

  Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is working with the Georgia-based company that shut down a major pipeline transporting fuel across the East Coast after a ransomware attack, the White House says. The government is planning for various scenarios and working with state and local authorities on measures to mitigate any potential supply issues, officials said Saturday. The attack is unlikely to affect gasoline supply and prices unless it leads to a prolonged shutdown, experts said. Colonial Pipeline did not say what was demanded or who made the demand.

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE.

Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids © Getty Images Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

What we know about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack

  What we know about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack What we know about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack. The latest on who is behind it, how it could impact gas prices and more. Colonial Pipeline said on Saturday that it was the victim of a cyberattack involving ransomware and had "proactively" halted all pipeline operations as a result. The 5,500-mile pipeline system transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to its website, and runs from Texas to New Jersey.

The nation's oil and gas sector was left reeling from a ransomware attack late last week that caused Colonial Pipeline to shut down operations that provide around 45 percent of the East Coast's oil. Officials and experts said Monday that the hack underscored vulnerabilities in the nation's critical utilities, while the Biden administration launched a "whole-of-government" response to address the crisis. Meanwhile, a group of attorneys general urged Facebook to abandon support for an Instagram for kids platform.

ALL ABOUT COLONIAL PIPELINE'S BAD WEEK:

THIS SEEMS FINE: The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the largest supplier of oil to the Northeast region of the United States, is underscoring just how vulnerable critical U.S. infrastructure is to cybercriminals in a way no previous attack has done, say U.S. officials and experts in the field.

Colonial Pipeline wasn't the first and won't be the last cyber pirate attack

  Colonial Pipeline wasn't the first and won't be the last cyber pirate attack The fact that an apparent group of cyber pirates -- a secret criminal nerd syndicate -- can take down the aorta of fuel for the East Coast should be sending shockwaves through the country. © Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY - MAY 10: Fuel holding tanks are seen at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm on May 10, 2021 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. We've all read this year about the pandemic threatening supply chains and about climate change causing more freak weather that threatens power grids.

The successful breach of Colonial Pipeline's IT system forced the company to shut down 5,500 miles of pipelines to ensure hackers could not gain access to its operational technology.

The attack was shocking in some ways in that it illustrated how vulnerable a critical and large company such as Colonial Pipeline was to increasingly frequent ransom attacks.

And it also showed such attacks have a far larger impact. The entire nation could see a rise in gas prices because of the attack on the pipeline, which carries around 45 percent of oil used on the East Coast and runs between Texas and New York.

Threats to critical infrastructure have built steadily in recent years, and over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic have spiked, particularly as more work is done remotely and online.

Read more about the breach here.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: President Biden and top administration officials said Monday they are taking a "whole of government" approach to both responding to the debilitating ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline and to strengthening the security of critical utilities moving forward.

Pipeline officials hope most service will be back by weekend

  Pipeline officials hope most service will be back by weekend WASHINGTON (AP) — Hit by a cyberattack, the operator of a major U.S. fuel pipeline said it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week as the FBI and administration officials identified the culprits as a gang of criminal hackers. U.S. officials sought to soothe concerns about price spikes or damage to the economy by stressing that the fuel supply had so far not experienced widespread disruptions, and the company said Monday that it was working toward “substantially restoring operational service” by the weekend. © Provided by Associated Press A company that operates a major U.S.

"This is something my administration, our administration, has been tracking extremely carefully, and I have been personally briefed every day," Biden said during remarks on the economy Monday at the White House.

Top Biden administration officials stressed Monday that the federal government was taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackling the impact of the attack.

"We are taking a multi-pronged and whole of government response to this incident and to ransomware overall," Anne Neuberger, Biden's deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, told reporters during the White House briefing Monday.

Read more about the response here.

DARKSIDE OF LIFE: The FBI confirmed on Monday that criminal ransomware gang DarkSide is responsible for the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline network.

"The FBI confirms that the DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks. We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation," the FBI wrote in a statement.

Daily on Energy: Trump energy secretary makes case against mandating cybersecurity standards for pipelines

  Daily on Energy: Trump energy secretary makes case against mandating cybersecurity standards for pipelines Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 BROUILLETTE VERSUS CYBERSECURITY STANDARDS: Trump administration Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says requiring pipelines to follow certain cybersecurity standards is not the answer to preventing future attacks like the one on the Colonial Pipeline.

Read more about the attribution here.

COMING (BACK) SOON: The Colonial Pipeline Company said that it hopes to "substantially" restore the operations of its pipeline by the end of the week following a ransomware attack that led to its shutdown.

It said in a statement that segments of the Colonial Pipeline, which transports oil from Texas to the East Coast, are being "brought back online in a stepwise fashion" and that its plan will take a "phased approach" for returns to service.

"This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week," the statement said, noting that the company will provide updates on its progress.

Read more here.

IN OTHER NEWS...

DROP IT: A bipartisan group of 45 attorneys general are urging Facebook to abandon plans to launch an Instagram for kids platform, citing concerns about children's mental health and data privacy risks.

"It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account. In short, an Instagram platform for young children is harmful for myriad reasons. The attorneys general urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch this new platform," the National Association of Attorneys General wrote in a letter Monday to Facebook.

Colonial Pipeline launches restart after six-day shutdown

  Colonial Pipeline launches restart after six-day shutdown The Colonial Pipeline launched the restart of its operations Wednesday evening following a six-day shutdown caused by a ransomware attack, but the pipeline's operators warned it will take several days for service to return to normal. © Samuel Corum/Bloomberg/Getty Images A Colonial Pipeline Co. storage tank at a facility in the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Fuel shortages are expanding across several U.S. states in the East Coast and South as filling stations run dry amid the unprecedented pipeline disruption caused by a criminal hack.

Facebook's plans about creating a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13 were first reported by BuzzFeed News in March, and the company has faced pushback from advocacy groups and lawmakers since.

Read more about the letter.

SENATE IN SESSION: The Senate will vote on legislation aimed at countering China's economic influence this month, Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday.

The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up the bill Wednesday, a vote that was delayed after senators filed hundreds of potential amendments to the bill.

"The Senate Commerce Committee will begin to mark up the Endless Frontiers Act ... a number of other Senate committees are working on bipartisan legislation to improve our competitiveness and make the United States a world leader in advanced manufacturing, innovation and supply chains," Schumer said from the Senate floor.

"It is my intention to have the full Senate consider comprehensive competitive legislation during this work period," he added.

Read more here.

BLOCKED: Amazon blocked more than 10 billion listings as part of its push toward driving out counterfeit products, the e-commerce giant said Monday.

Amazon said in its brand protection report that it invested more than $700 million and more than 10,000 employees as part of the effort to protect the online store from fraud and abuse.

The company also said its verification processes prevented more than 6 million attempts to create selling accounts, stopping bad actors before they published any products for sale. Just 6 percent of attempted account registrations passed Amazon's verification processes and listed products for sale, according to Amazon.

Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire

  Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.President Biden on Thursday said that while the Russian government was not behind the recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, the cyber criminals involved were based in Russia, and his administration would take steps to disrupt the group.

Read more here.

BYE BYE JEDI?: The Defense Department is considering scrapping a multibillion-dollar cloud-computing project that's been bogged down by lawsuits and lawmaker scrutiny, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Amazon for more than a year has contested the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract awarded to Microsoft in 2019.

The Pentagon is in the process of reviewing the project after the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on April 28 decided not to dismiss a protest lawsuit filed by Amazon.

Read more here.

Lighter click: Sounds like some sweet folks

An op-ed to chew on: What should NASA do about the Chinese space station?

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

How to wage an antitrust war (Protocol / Ben Brody)

Blind people, advocates slam company claiming to make websites ADA compliant (NBC News / April Glaser)

A county-by-county look at the broadband gap (The Verge / Russell Brandom and William Joel)

Fact check: Viral image of plastic bags filled with gas is from 2019 .
An image claiming to show gas-filled plastic bags amid the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline was actually taken in 2019 in Mexico.The 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of fuel for the East Coast, shut down on May 7 following a ransomware attack by a hacking group called DarkSide. Pipeline operations resumed on May 12.

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