Colonial Pipeline Cybersecurity Attack

Colonial Pipeline Cyber Attack

The recent cybersecurity attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company led to temporary disruption in the delivery of gasoline and other petroleum products across much of the southeast United States. More than 2.7 million miles of pipelines transport and distribute oil, natural gas, and other hazardous products throughout the United States. Protecting the nation’s pipeline systems is a responsibility shared by both the federal government and private industry with private sector pipeline operators responsible for implementing security measures for their assets. The figure below shows the U.S. pipeline systems’ basic components and vulnerabilities.
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While potential physical attacks are always a concern, the pipeline systems’ vulnerabilities can also include various types of cyberattacks, such as infiltration of company business systems or disruption of the systems that control the pipeline’s operations. According to the Colonial Pipeline Company, on May 7, 2021, the company learned that it was the victim of a cyberattack. Malicious actors reportedly deployed “ransomware” against the pipeline company’s business systems. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is used to deny access to information technology (IT) systems or data and hold the systems or data hostage until a ransom is paid. A joint DHS/FBI advisory notice confirmed that DarkSide ransomware was used in the attack. This notice explained that to ensure the safety of the pipeline, the company had proactively disconnected certain systems that monitor and control physical pipeline functions so that they would not be compromised.
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As of May 12, there were no indications that these operational systems had been breached. However, disconnecting these systems resulted in a temporary halt to all pipeline operations. On May 13, Colonial Pipeline reported that it had restarted its pipeline and that product delivery had resumed to all markets.

How Oak Line can protect your organization from cybersecurity threats!

Oak Line focuses on addressing long-standing cybersecurity challenges facing the nation. Because systems and networks used by our nation’s critical infrastructure are often interconnected with other systems and the internet, they may be vulnerable to disruptions, such as what has occurred with Colonial Pipeline. As of December 2020, more than 750 national cybersecurity deficiencies identified by GAO have not yet been implemented.
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Oak Line stands prepared to support the federal government in its development and execution of a comprehensive strategy for national cybersecurity and global cyberspace. Offering a full suite of cyber and infrastructure services, Oak Line can provide a 360-degree assessment and implement a robust solution to provide cybersecurity protection of critical infrastructure.

Want to learn more about our Cybersecurity Solutions? Please contact an Oak Line security expert via our Contact Form.

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