Pipeline Hack Shows Dangerous Dependence on Fossil Fuels, Fox News

May 13, 2021

Above, Pete Buttigieg shows what a competent, restrained and informed response to a crisis looks like.
Bottom, check the contrast to the Fox News narrative.
No surprise that goobers across the southeast are loading their trunks with gasoline filled garbage bags.

Huffpost:

But some energy regulators and policymakers said that it doesn’t make sense that the country’s almost 2 million miles of oil and gas pipelines are able to largely avoid federal cybersecurity oversight, unlike the electric grid that is overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“Simply encouraging pipelines to voluntarily adopt best practices is an inadequate response to the ever-increasing number and sophistication of malevolent cyber actors,” FERC Chairman Richard Glick said in a statement. “Mandatory pipeline security standards are necessary to protect the infrastructure on which we all depend.”

Glick called on Congress this week to establish such mandatory cybersecurity standards. However, since the Colonial cyberattack, major fossil-fuel lobbyists, like the American Petroleum Institute, have tried to block such requirements for the country’s energy industry. 

The cyberattack against the Colonial Pipeline system, which provides nearly half of the fuel supply for the East Coast, is a stark reminder that we must do more to ensure the safety of our nation’s energy infrastructure. 1/2— Rich Glick (@RichGlickFERC) May 10, 2021

Evergreen Action, a climate policy group that advocates for clean energy, said Wednesday that the Colonial Pipeline situation shows why the country cannot give “corporate polluters” so much control.

“The industry’s response to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown is just the latest in a long string of reminders of why we cannot allow corporate polluters to set the agenda for our energy future,” Executive Director Jamal Raad said in a statement. “Earlier this year, when an avoidable winter blackout caused by failing fossil fuel infrastructure resulted in dozens of deaths and millions of Texans losing power, the oil and gas industry and their cronies in Washington tried to deflect blame by spreading lies and misinformation.

“The pattern is clear: fossil fuel corporations can’t be relied on to deliver the resilient and reliable energy infrastructure we need. We don’t have to remain captive to the poisonous whims of the fossil fuel industry.”

Below, probably not a great precedent that the company paid a large ransom to the Hackers:

Bloomberg:

Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country’s largest fuel pipeline, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, those people said.

Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.

A representative from Colonial declined to comment.

The hackers, which the FBI said are linked to a group called DarkSide, specialize in digital extortion and are believed to be located in Russia or Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, Fox News continues to show how they make everything worse.

16 Responses to “Pipeline Hack Shows Dangerous Dependence on Fossil Fuels, Fox News”


  1. One group incredibly happy with the pipeline clusterf**k will be electric car makers!

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I do hope that this event brings us closer to not having fossil fuel pipelines at all.

      Glick called on Congress this week to establish such mandatory cybersecurity standards. However, since the Colonial cyberattack, major fossil-fuel lobbyists, like the American Petroleum Institute, have tried to block such requirements for the country’s energy industry.

      Keep doubling down and living in the Dark Ages, API.

  2. neilrieck Says:

    The yanks invented the internet so I now find it some weird form of Karma that anyone outside of the USA was able to hack into an American site. To make matters worse, could it be that no one was taking care of the IT infrastructure used to control the pipeline hardware? (this stuff usually needs to be patched weekly). I remember something similar back in 2017 when hackers broke into Equifax through an Apache Struts vulnerability that had been fixed by the Apache group for months, but it was never installed at Equifax. Makes me wonder if big companies have reduced IT-staff in order to divert the savings to upper management bonuses. In this light $5 million is peanuts.

    • Mark Mev Says:

      In the large defense company that I worked for decades ago, IT dollars were considered under the umbrella of overhead cost. That was a bad umbrella to be under. If we did our job well and nothing went wrong then we were overstaffed or we were just not doing anything. If something went wrong then there must be hell to pay. I’m not making excuses, just trying to provide a different viewpoint. In the end, if what you have is working, but you need to do updates, you have to have the extra manpower and computers to set up a duplicate production system that you try and break before releasing to the floor. Or you could try going the route of asking upper management to allow the systems to be shut down, while the update and debugging is done. The looks on their faces usually provided the answer to that route.

      • neilrieck Says:

        I’ve been working in IT for over 40-years and agree with everything you just posted. A huge amount of profit was made when corporations moved to the web (Amazon was was of the early adopters) but for many western companies the web was a way to put your systems online then offshore support to lower-paid work forces (out-of-sight out-of-mind?). Of course in the west this means the savings become bonuses for upper management. But ask them for money to do a hardware refresh or purchase a software license; they’ll look at you like you are a leper. Five years ago we needed to upgrade our server hardware and software (used by over 1200 people) but were told that new system was off the table. I learned that some smart companies (Disney is one) do a server refresh every year then other companies resell the hardware (you still need to buy/rent/lease the software -or- go with opensource products). There was once a time when any business wouldn’t think twice about buying a telephone system so they can keep in contact with their customers (except those telephone systems could not be infected then be held ransom). Management needs to realize that computers are a product of the information age where data is more important than energy. I still do not know how this pipe-line company didn’t understand that their computer systems were very important so needed to be audited then patched or refreshed.

        • Mark Mev Says:

          My favorite response to my upgrading the OS on designers workstations was in the early 90s. An oldtime engineer who started designing using a slide rule, came up to me and said: “I finally figured it out. You keep upgrading the OS so we can’t get rid of you!” I put my finger to my lips and went “sssshhhh” and walked away.

    • redskylite Says:

      An I.T audit by one of the reputable audit companies would show up any weaknesses in security. Also there are still other network options – not everything has to be exposed to the internet. Criminal hackers and mischief-makers are a given today – so is the expertise to prevent them.

  3. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    Periodically have doubts whether the human race is worth saving!

    • redskylite Says:

      I think a lot of people have the same periodical doubts – the question is will we save ourselves (and hopefully all the other species that share our environments) ? I guess it’s over to the kids and babies of today to answer that conundrum.

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    It’s distressing that people in the US have to be told not to carry gasoline in plastic bags in their cars. I don’t fear a rash of media images of burning ICEVs so much as I fear martial law declarations by our all of the above government to prevent them.

    As summer is approaching, we probably need similar warnings to be issued regarding seasonal activities:

    Do not clear grass cud from lawnmower blades with your hands while the lawnmower is running.

    Refrain from dumping plastic bags of gasoline (in lieu of lighter fluid) on hot coals while your burgers, hot dogs and tofu patties are cooking. When flipping said burgers, dogs, patties and buns, use tongs or spatulas, not your hands or teeth.

    Close the windows when running air conditioners. When not running the air conditioner, close refrigerator door.

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    “Pete Buttigieg shows what a competent, restrained and informed response to a crisis looks like”

    Pete shows what a corporate hack does to ensure people are calm enough to keep shopping while not thinking the administration is a bunch of psychopaths for declaring an emergency over a pipeline but not over the imminent destruction of civilization and most life on Earth.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Some of us are still enjoying the difference between the current administration and the previous mal-administration, even if the current one may not be up to the standards we’d like.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        Meanwhile, time is passing, during which global catastrophe swerves closer with no adequate action being taken, and fools actually becoming complacent thinking something IS being done. The oligarchic Democrats have no interest in educating people about the crisis, either, because that would reveal the bankruptcy of their plans and make people demand that adequate action IS taken.

        The overwhelming majority of forces are pushing the 2050 fantasy, oligarchic Democrats included. In terms of practical effect, they might as well be Republicans.


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