Fuel deliveries to the east coast of the United States have been brought to a standstill by cybercriminals that have gained access to Colonial Pipelines’ networks and forced the company to shut down its distribution system. This attack comes on top of a ransomware attack on natural gas infrastructure last year and an explicit warning [PDF] from the Director of National Intelligence in 2019 that China had the ability to disrupt our pipeline infrastructure.
As I have argued before, after two decades of trying to make a voluntary partnership with industry work, this incident demonstrates that neither thoughts, prayers, nor information sharing is sufficient. It is time for the federal government to exercise its existing authority to regulate the cybersecurity of pipelines.
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