Colonial Pipeline, a major US fuel pipeline provider; has shut down its entire network, which transports fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to the eastern and southern United States. Caused by a cyber attack blamed on ransomware software, according to industry sources.
The company transports 2.5 million barrels of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined products every day; via 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipelines accounting for 45 percent of East Coast fuel supply.
Colonial said in a statement that it shut down systems to contain the threat after learning of the attack on Friday. According to the firm, this action has temporarily halted operations and impacted some of its IT systems.
Where it came the cyber attack?
According to cybersecurity industry sources, the malicious program used in the attack was ransomware; a form of malware that encrypts data and demands payment in order to regain access to the system. Over the last five years, the malware has increased in popularity.
FireEye (FEYE.O), a cybersecurity industry source; refused to comment when asked whether they were investigating the incident.
“Cybersecurity vulnerabilities have become a systemic issue,” said Algirde Pipikaite, cyber strategy lead at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity.
“The fact that this attack compromised systems that control pipeline infrastructure indicates that either the attack was extremely sophisticated or the systems were not well secured,” said Mike Chapple, a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
In resume, Colonial did not have any further information or a timeline for when its pipelines will be shut down.