🌞 Good morning! I got sunburnt yesterday, two days after it snowed. Weather is weird and fun right now!
Ransomware shuts oil pipeline
A company responsible for transporting 45% of fuel consumed on the US East Coast has been forced to halt operations since Friday due to a ransomware attack (Reuters).
- The Colonial Pipeline is the largest fuel pipeline in the US, running from Texas through the Gulf Coast to New York Harbor. It carries 2.5 million barrels a day, and the supply of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel.
- It went down on Friday, and as of Sunday, the Colonial Pipeline Company said it was still working to develop a restart plan for its pipeline system.
- The White House is involved, passing an emergency waiver to ease rules around transporting of fuels by road or sea.
- While oil prices have edged higher, a rush for replacement fuels could develop as sources from Europe and even Asia could be procured, depending on the length of the shutdown.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the attack was caused by a cyber-criminal gang called Dark Side, which took 100GB of data hostage.
The BBC has more detail:
- Cyber-security firm Digital Shadows says the Colonial attack has come about due to the pandemic – with more engineers remotely accessing control systems for the pipeline from home.
- James Chappell, co-founder of Digital Shadows, believes DarkSide bought account login details relating to remote desktop software such as TeamViewer and Microsoft Remote Desktop.
- “We’re seeing a lot of victims now, this is seriously a big problem now,” said Mr Chappell. “The amount of small businesses that are falling victim to this – it’s becoming a big problem for the economy globally.”
The thing James Chappell (perhaps kindly) doesn’t mention is that this is critical infrastructure running Microsoft Windows. And the “hack” is less hack than just paying for logins.
- Note that the hack is around the administration, not the services themselves, as far as I understand the detail.
- Will the ransom just get paid up? We don’t know the demands here, but surely the costs become astronomical once the pipeline continues to remain offline.
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