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The U.S. Proposes Improved Cyber Defense for Pipeline Companies

The recent ransomware attack on a U.S. gasoline and other fuel transport company, the Colonial Pipeline in Russia, was a wake-up call.

The event has sufficiently alerted both companies and energy regulators, how vulnerable the country’s energy infrastructure is to cyber-attacks.  According to reliable sources, a Russian criminal group conducted the attack.

Therefore, the Federal government calls on the nation’s largest Pipeline businesses to strengthen their security against cybercrime. He added, companies should have the necessary infrastructure to react to the cyber assault. The recent cyber assault forced the pipeline to halt operations briefly.

On July 20, the Transportation Security Administration issued a safety instruction to “take special mitigation measures against ransomware attacks and other known risks to I.T. and operational technology system” for the owner of some 100 pipelines classified as the most important to the U.S. economy.

On the same day, TSA issued a warning against a spear-phishing and penetration effort by Chinese state-sponsored crime actors based on a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the FBI investigation. Cyber thieves targeted the Pipeline businesses in the United States between December 2011 and 2013.

The government has finalized twenty-three (23) gas Pipeline operators to start the infiltration effort.

The analysis verified thirteen firms awaiting infiltration, three to miss, and seven to have an unknown penetration depth.

This is one of the many steps undertaken by TSA in July to demand that pipelines increase cybersecurity following the assault by the Colonial Pipeline.

The Agency issued a Directive in May requesting the owners of important pipelines to inform the Federal government of cybersecurity issues within 12 hours.

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