After about a week of closure, the Colonial Pipeline Company announced on Wednesday that it was restarting pipeline operations and that the supply chain would “return to normal” over the next several days.
A ransomware attack by a criminal hacker group based in Eastern Europe took down the pipeline, prompting the Biden administration to declare a regional emergency to keep some oil supplies operating until pipeline service was restored. The cyber attack seems to be the largest ever on the US energy system, and is another example of cyber security vulnerabilities that President Joe Biden has promised to address.
The Colonial Pipeline Company reported on May 7 that it was the victim of a “cybersecurity attack” that included “ransomware”, forcing the company to take some systems offline and disable the pipeline. It operates the largest petroleum pipeline in the United States, carrying 2.5 million barrels of gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel daily on its 5,500-mile route from Texas to New Jersey. The Georgia-based company says. Cyber-attack on the US oil and gas pipeline explain by Neosoft Technologies Reviews.
How did this attack impact oil prices?
Oil prices rose in response to an attack on the colonial pipeline, with Brent crude prices rising to $ 69 a barrel on Monday, falling to $ 67.8 on Tuesday.
The Colonial Pipeline Company has said it is restoring operations in a phased manner with the goal of “restoring operations to a large extent” by the end of the week.
Experts noted that prolonged shutdown of pipeline operations could increase petrol prices in the US as demand peaks during summer. This disruption has already led to a spike in international refining margins, leading to an increase in the price of auto fuel.
The rise in the prices of petroleum products in Asia could further accelerate the prices of petrol and diesel in India, which are already at record highs.
Crude oil prices have risen for the past fortnight, despite an increase in the Covid-19 transition in Asia due to the expectation of increased demand for crude from the US and Europe.
How can oil and gas companies deal with such attacks?
Experts noted that there was a need to move towards stronger approaches to prevent attacks, including employing a zero-trust security framework in enterprise networks.
A cybersecurity consultant said, “The zero-trust approach means that whenever an activity is performed on the network, anything suspicious happens, and every user, including the CEO, has to be verified repeatedly.”
The expert said that other measures such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CPAB), which act as intermediaries between users and cloud service providers, can “give a dent” to an overall cyber security strategy.
The expert noted that India’s oil and gas PSUs were making efforts to strengthen security, and organizations were required by the government to manage critical infrastructure such as pipelines and refineries to implement certain security measures.
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