Who is Behind Natural Gas Cyber Attacks?
A major cyber attack is currently under way aimed squarely at computer networks belonging to US natural gas pipeline companies, according to alerts issued to the industry by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Yet there are several intriguing and unusual aspects of the attacks and the US response to them not described in Friday's public notice. One is the greater level of detail in these alerts than in past alerts. Another is the unusual if not unprecedented request to leave the cyber spies alone for a little while.
Beyond indicating that multiple companies were targeted and some other systems compromised, neither the alerts nor the public notice indicate just how many companies have been infiltrated. The documents also do not indicate that any companies' pipeline operations or their vital computerized industrial control systems that run pumps have yet been affected.
But other cyber security experts familiar with the alerts warn that access to a company's corporate system can eventually allow a hacker to wind through a corporate network and into the vital industrial control processes. Those systems, if infiltrated, could allow hackers to manipulate pressure and other control system settings, potentially reaping explosions or other dangerous conditions.
Remember the San Bruno explosion? That was probably bad welding, 40 years ago.
Posted by: Bobby 2012-05-08