by Climate Denial Crock of the Week with Peter Sinclair
A ransomware attack caused a major East Coast fuel pipeline operator to shut down its entire network on Friday, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter. The pipeline remains closed.
The attack on top U.S. operator Colonial Pipeline appears to have been carried out by a criminal group, but federal officials and the private security firm Mandiant are still investigating the matter, one official said.
Colonial Pipeline said in a statement on Friday that it had temporarily shut down all its pipeline operations after being hit by a cyber attack. It said it had notified law enforcement and other federal agencies.
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.
The company learned of the attack on some of its “information technology” or corporate network systems Friday, but “proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat,” it said. In addition to contacting federal officials and law enforcement, it has also hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on U.S. officials saying it was a ransomware attack.
The U.S. officials and experts in industrial control security said such attacks are more common than publicly known and that most just do not get reported.
“There are absolutely cases in industrial operations where ransomware impacts operations,’’ said Robert M. Lee, CEO and cofounder of Dragos, a major cybersecurity firm that handles incidents in the industrial control sector. “Oftentimes, though, that impact isn’t the impact that gets news media attention. They may not be to the level that this case is, but there are lots of industrial control companies that are battling ransomware around the United States.”
Colonial Pipeline connected to multiple spills across U.S.
OpEd.. Ransomware? Did they demand End to Fossil Fuels?
We know that the USA, for its population is by far the greatest Climate Criminal, releasing dozens of times more greenhouse gases per person than in many other countries, and blocking and sabotaging Climate Change curbing efforts for two generations for private corporate profit.
Now at last, and probably too late the new administration has changed its tune. However it remains to be seen whether it will be merely Capitalist Greenwashing with the usual media hype and no real change.
The cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline joining the ‘Fossil Hell’ of the Gulf Coast to New York may be a useful reminder of the total dependence on ever faster destruction of the planet.
But what was the ransom that the criminal hackers demanded? Or were they environmentalists intent on showing up one of the most lethal pipelines on the whole planet?