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Ransomware attack leads to shutdown of major U.S. pipeline system


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Colonial’s 5,500 miles of pipelines carry fuel from refineries on the Gulf Coast to customers in the southern and eastern United States. It says it transports 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, reaching 50 million Americans.

 

Ransomware attacks, in which hackers lock up computer systems — usually by encrypting data — and demand payment to free up the system, are a global scourge. In recent years, they have affected everyone from banks and hospitals to universities and municipalities — almost 2,400 organizations in the United States were victimized last year alone, one security firm reported. But the attackers are increasingly targeting industrial sectors because these firms are more willing to pay up to regain control of their systems, experts say.

 

“The downtime for industrial companies can cost millions,” said Robert M. Lee, the chief executive of Dragos, a major cybersecurity firm that handles incidents in the industrial control sector.

U.S. officials and experts in industrial control security said such attacks are more common than is publicly known and that most just do not get reported.

 

“There are absolutely cases in industrial operations where ransomware impacts operations,” but often the stories don’t hit the news, Lee said. “There are lots of industrial control companies that are battling ransomware around the United States.”

 

The trend exploded in the last three years after the WannaCry and NotPetya computer worms showed cyber criminals how targeting companies in critical industrial sectors is more likely to make companies pay out, Lee said.

 

The DarkSide group has hit utility firms before, said Allan Liska, intelligence analyst at the cyber threat research firm Recorded Future. In February, ransomware attacks disrupted operations at two Brazilian state-owned electric utility companies, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras (Eletrobras) and Companhia Paranaense de Energia (Copel), he said.....


Colonial’s 5,500 miles of pipelines carry fuel from refineries on the Gulf Coast to customers in the southern and eastern United States. It says it transports 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, reaching 50 million Americans.....

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/08/cyber-attack-colonial-pipeline/

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I've said it before, there is no such thing as total security on the internet. There are some BAD people out there.

The more organisations use it for critical infrastructure, the more attacks like this will occur. They must look for alternative, non-public ways of connecting their systems.

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