In what was called “the most significant and successful attack on energy infrastructure we know of in the United States” hit the Colonial Pipeline that supplies about half of the gas used on the East Coast.
If the cyberattack is not fixed within the next 45 days it will lead to higher gas prices up and down the Eastern seaboard.
Ironically, the two countries most capable of mounting such an attack, China and Iran, are both being courted by Joe Biden.
“The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which runs 5,500 miles and provides nearly half the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel used on the East Coast, most immediately affected some of the company’s business-side computer systems — not the systems that directly run the pipelines themselves. The Georgia-based company said it shut down the pipelines as a precaution and has engaged a third-party cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident.”
The New York Times reported:
“Administration officials said they believed the attack was the act of a criminal group, rather than a nation seeking to disrupt critical infrastructure in the United States. But at times, such groups have had loose affiliations with foreign intelligence agencies and have operated on their behalf.”
Mike Chapple from University of Notre Dame´s Mendoza College of Business, who is a former computer scientist says the attacks were extremely sophisticated and were able to work their way around some pretty tough defenses. Either that or the right controls were not in place. That is something that will need to be checked on.
In case of war, we cannot have our country’s energy grids compromised.
Oil analyst Andy Lipow said if the shutdown lasted five or six days it will lead to price hikes that will mainly affect the jet fuel supplies for airports along the coastal areas.
“Colonial Pipeline announced Saturday morning that it’s working to restore operations and hired a third-party cybersecurity firm to investigate the targeted ransomware attack,” Newsweek added.
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“The private cybersecurity firm FireEye said it’s been hired to manage the incident response investigation,” the Star Tribune reported.
On Saturday. Colonial issued a statement saying that the “incident involves ransomware,” “Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve the issue. Our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation.”