AND THE MEDIA IS AS SILENT AS AN EMPTY OIL DRUM
Did you hear about the MAJOR cyber attack on our nation’s infrastructure this past Friday- May 7th? Very few did.
ONE HUNDRED MILLION GALLONS of GASOLINE, DIESEL and JET FUEL, HOME HEATING OIL TRANSPORTED DAILY THROUGH OVER 5,500 MILES OF PIPELINE FROM HOUSTON TO NEW YORK…
SHUT DOWN by CYBER ATTACK this PAST FRIDAY, MAY 7th.
The Company, COLONIAL PIPELINE states it was the victim of a RANSOMWARE cyber-attack. The attack went against the management side of the company’s software but the entire transmission system for the pipeline was shut down and is now working to get back on-line.
The pipeline is responsible for 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.
Cyber-security officials maintain this is one of the most serious types of attacks against the nation’s infrastructure.
Officials in cyber security have been warning for two decades that such attacks are imminent due to the severe lack of continuity and security protocols across the nation’s infrastructure. “This is only the beginning”, said Dr. Ross Riggs, retired president of Security Consulting Investigations and now consulting with DefCon360. Dr. Riggs had reported on internet based radio programs as early as 2012 that the nation’s infrastructure was ripe for ransomware attacks. Working then alongside the Washington D.C. based International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association and its President Mike Riker, radio host Will Griffith, and Riggs, the ICTOA’s radio commentary spelled out scenarios just such as this which could leave major companies and the nation scrambling for the ability to continue production while battling the threats.
In a January 2020 article published in the Hospitality Magazine, Riggs wrote concerning threats within international tourism and business travel, “Cyber-based industrial espionage is already prevalent. If your venue has a Wi-Fi system, you have a security issue.”
In the report by Colonial Pipeline, the company states it has hired an “outside cyber-security firm.” Again, Dr. Riggs warns in his 2020 article, “This is not an issue where the expert comes in and fixes everything. This (must be) a professional who comes in and facilitates changes needed in specific areas and creates a team which brings every employee on mission.”
One cyber-security company representative, Grant Geyer, CPO of Claroty, was quoted as saying that the Colonial Pipeline attack is only a ‘teaser’ of what is to come. He said, “”As cyber criminals and foreign adversaries seek opportunities for financial gain and power projection, our national critical infrastructure is an easy target,”
The Colonial Pipeline attack is just one of many, however, already in 2021. Thousands of accounts connected to the Microsoft Exchange mail servers were compromised and a Texas based IT firm had a cyber attack that went unnoticed for months! Where does that leave the smaller companies when the giants like Microsoft and the federal government cannot get it right?
Colonial says it does not know how long it will be until it is back on-line. Watch for prices at the pumps to suddenly be over $3.00 a gallon all along the Eastern half of the United States.
According to Kaspersky Labs, their company detected in 2017, 360,000 new MALWARE every single day. That is an average of 250 new MALWARE programs every single minute. That was four years ago and things are deeper and darker now. RANSOMWARE the most dangerous of the MALWARE is designed to “encrypt the victim’s data storage drives, rendering them inaccessible to the owner. An ultimatum is then delivered, demanding
payment in return for the encryption key. If the ransom demand isn’t met, the key will be deleted and the data lost forever with it.”[i] Compuquip has some basic strategies to help the business owner to prevent some of the attacks which may be coming their way. (The endnote has the webpage for those strategies.)
One thing is certain, this is not the time for America to be letting down its defenses. The issues currently plaguing the U.S. such as border security and infrastructure defense are real and political posturing by either party is unacceptable.
This report was written and released by Dr. Ross Riggs. It is based on his qualified opinion and it does not necessarily reflect the opinion or directives of the ICTOA, its officers, or Kaspersky Security or Compuquip.