NEWS COMMENTARY

Hackers use IT weak spot to disrupt OT in Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack

Published:
May 12, 2021
Coverage:
Digital Transformation More...
Activities:
Incident
Very important

The shutdown of Colonial Pipeline's 5,500-mile system between Houston and New Jersey signifies that hackers have found one of the industry's cybersecurity weak spots. The attack, in which the DarkSide organization reportedly stole 100 GB of data and held it for ransom, leveraged the vulnerable flat IT infrastructure that controls the pipeline. Pipelines operate with IT systems that concentrate control in a single point of failure spanning thousands of miles. They lack the layered security maintained for other segmented oil and gas and utility IT systems. The attack is also a cautionary tale for clients, putting them on notice that hackers will attack IT to cause OT disruption. Hackers are also directly targeting vulnerable OT systems.

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