Security Byte: Ransomware attack hits oil pipeline


The oil pipeline, it’s one of the most important infrastructures in dozens of countries. No matter what you think of the oil business and the oil pipeline, we all rely on them both. While big businesses on both sides of the energy debate have been battling it out, they let their guard down.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Now a huge oil pipeline in the United States has been rendered inoperable due to a ransomware attack. A relatively new criminal group known as DarkSide has been blamed for taking the oil pipeline down. The oil pipeline in question runs from Texas all the way up the east coast of the United States.

Bringing this oil pipeline down could result in gas prices going up more than they already have. Technicians are trying to get the oil pipeline back up and running, but there are plenty of unanswered questions and perhaps some security systems that need to be addressed.

ransomware oil pipeline
Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

Purandar Das, CEO and Co-Founder at Sotero had this to say about the incident:

“What many people had feared is fast becoming a reality. Broadly speaking, the vulnerability posed by underprepared and under-protected networks and system have long been feared as potential targets for hackers.

Within the last few months, it has been clear that organized groups are rapidly targeting these systems both for monetary and intellectual property gain but also to demonstrate the potential power they could hold over critical infrastructure.

Attacks like these have the potential to wreak havoc on the economy as well result in the destruction of systems critical for the nation to function. As these attacks are demonstrating, it is already late in the context of fortifying systems like these.

What this also demonstrating, besides the urgency, is the need for coordinated responses both on the defense as well as the offense. All the activity that the government and Congress have initiated, are demonstrating, that they too see the need for a massive, coordinated effort.

That is the only way to defeat state actors with the wherewithal to coordinate such large-scale sophisticated attacks. It is time for the private sector to consider seriously the investments needed to beef up security, not just as a one-time response but as a long-term strategic initiative.”

Purandar Das, CEO and Co-Founder at Sotero

For now, the efforts to get the oil pipeline back into operation are going around the clock. What do you think of this ransomware attack? Please share your thoughts on any social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.


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