15 April 2018
The report “US Gas Pipelines Hit by Cyber-Attack” (1), published on April 13, 2018 in Infosecurity Magazine, sounds more dramatic than it actually is. The attackers compromised a system for “electronic data interchange” (EDI) to some of the largest US energy providers. No impact on critical infrastructures, at least until now.
Bloomberg Technology (2) reports that at least four US pipeline companies were affected by the attack.
What surprised me was that Jim Guinn, managing director and global cyber security leader for energy, utilities, chemicals and mining at Accenture Plc, said (2):
“There is absolutely nothing of intrinsic value for someone to infiltrate the EDI other than to navigate a network to do something more malicious. All bad actors are looking for a way to get into the museum to go steal the Van Gogh painting.”
I cannot support this. The EDI system contains the access details to the systems used in the customer networks for data exchange. These details are the free admission ticket to the customer networks for the cyber-criminals.
Thus, it is very important that at least the access data to customer systems are changed directly after an attack is detected. In addition, the customers should check their networks for suspicious data transfers and indicators for lateral movement.
Have a good weekend.
1. Muncaster P. US Gas Pipelines Targeted in Cyber-Attack [Internet]. Infosecurity Magazine. 2018 [cited 2018 Apr 13]. Available from: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com:443/news/us-gas-pipelines-hit-by-cyberattack/
2. Malik NS, Collins R, Vamburkar M. Cyberattack Pings Data Systems of At Least Four Gas Networks. Bloomberg.com [Internet]. 2018 Apr 3 [cited 2018 Apr 15]; Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-03/day-after-cyber-attack-a-third-gas-pipeline-data-system-shuts