Colonial Pipeline Resources
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Colonial Pipeline Resources for ILTA Members (Archived)

Daily Report - ILTA Situational and Analysis Report on Colonial Pipeline Incident 

The Latest News on the Colonial Pipeline Outage

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) 
DarkSide Ransomware: Best Practices for Preventing Business Disruption from Ransomware Attacks
Original release date: May 11, 2021 | Last revised: May 12, 2021
Please click here to read the full article. 

U.S. Coast Guard
  • ILTA continues to press USCG on providing flexibility in TWIC access requirements in areas affected by the outage. USCG headquarters has confirmed that regulated marine terminals may ask their Captain of the Port (COTP) for a deviation under the 33 CFR 105.125 “Non-Compliance” provision. ILTA has stressed to the Coast Guard that terminals are having difficulty reaching COTP for needed approvals.
  • The Coast Guard has provided a link to an online directory with additional phone numbers for contacting COTP. An additional option is to send a concise letter via email to the COTP proposing the facility’s interim measures for security while truck drivers without TWICs are given access to loading racks.

News Excerpts:  

Bloomberg: Biden Says to Expect ‘Good News’ on Pipeline Within a Day
  • President says U.S. military may help transport fuel 
  • Gas prices top $3 as Colonial shutdown causes shortages 

President Joe Biden said he expects “good news” soon about a major fuel pipeline that was shut down by a ransomware attack last week and that he would allow the military to help transport gas to parts of the country that are running out. 

“I think you’re going to hear some good news in the next 24 hours, and I think we’ll be getting that under control,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. He didn’t elaborate.

In the meantime, he said, “I’ve lifted some of the restrictions on the transportation of fuel as well as access to the United States military providing fuel, and with vehicles to get it there, places where it’s badly needed.”

The Colonial Pipeline system has been shutdown for five days since the cyberattack. U.S. pump prices topped $3 for the first time in six years as drivers lined up for scarce gas across the East Coast.

Read more: Gasoline Prices Hit $3 as Shortages Grow on Pipeline Outage

Biden said the attack demonstrated the need for U.S. investments in education to improve the nation’s cyber defenses. He’s proposed some $4 trillion in spending on infrastructure, social welfare and education programs.

“We need a significantly larger number of experts in the area of cyber security working for private companies, as well as private companies being willing to share data as to how they’re protecting themselves,” he said. “I think that’s part of the long-term answer, not just in terms of energy but across the board.”

Buttigieg: Pipeline hack shows need for infrastructure spending
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday characterized fuel shortages caused by a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline system as more evidence of the need for an aggressive investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

Buttigieg said the attack was “a wake-up call” for the country to get serious about the systems that keep it running.  

“We’ve now had, you could argue two major wake-up call experiences, one in Texas, and now one here, each with a different cause but both reminding us about the work that we have to do as a country,” Buttigieg said, referring to power outages caused by cold weather in Texas that occurred earlier this year. 

“The reality is that investing in world-class, modern and resilient infrastructure has always been central to ensuring our country’s economic security, our national security and as we’re seeing right now, that includes cybersecurity,” he said. “This is not an extra, this is not a luxury, this is not an option.”

After Colonial Pipeline hack, lawmakers want more action on pipeline security
“A multi-agency initiative to bolster pipeline cybersecurity begun in 2018 is a good start, but more can be done, critics say. “I have raised significant concerns with TSA’s focus on surface transportation, including pipelines, for years,” Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., told CyberScoop. He  pointed to a 2018 audit from the Government Accountability Office that found that TSA’s pipeline cybersecurity work was inadequate and lacked “lack clear definitions to ensure that pipeline operators identify their critical facilities.”  

“CISA says the federal Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative draws on government and private-sector expertise “to identify and address cybersecurity risks to enhance the security and resiliency of the Nation’s pipeline infrastructure.” The initiative has shown promise, according to Rep. John Katko, of New York, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee.

“Now, in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident, ensuring the success, growth, and effectiveness of the Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative is more important than ever before,” Katko  wrote in a letter to Acting CISA Director Brandon Wales on Tuesday.”

More Gas Stations Run Dry in Southeast as Panic Buying Grows Even Worse
Gas stations are pumping out days' worth of fuel in a matter of hours, and a growing number are going empty. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is  begging Americans not to put fuel into plastic bags, or anything not designed to carry gasoline.

 And governors are declaring states of emergencies while pleading with residents not to "panic buy" or fill up their tanks when they don't need to — requests that so far seem futile.

The disruption, sparked by a cyberattack that led to the shutdown of a major U.S. fuel pipeline last week, is taking on a life of its own and sparking a self-perpetuating problem.

Gas Stations Run Dry as Pipeline Races to Recover from Hacking
“The Northeast can secure gasoline shipments from Europe, but it will come at an increasing cost the longer the pipeline stays shut. In the meantime, fuel producers including Marathon Petroleum Corp. are weighing alternatives for how to ship their products to the Northeast.

Landlocked cities face the greatest danger of fuel shortages compared with those with access to water-borne deliveries," said Steve Boyd, senior managing director at Houston-based distributor Sun Coast Resources Inc. If the pipeline remains down for many more days, he’s anticipating a “massive surge in orders.”

Please click here to read the full article.
Article - PDF Version 

Cyber Sleuths Blunted Pipeline Hack, Choked Data Flow to Russia
“A small group of private-sector companies, with help from several U.S. agencies, disrupted ongoing cyber-attacks against Colonial Pipeline Co. and more than two dozen other victims," according to people with knowledge of the matter.
"Colonial was the victim of a ransomware attack last week in which the hackers stole nearly 100 gigabytes of data, a breach that caused the company to shut down operations of the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S. The hackers were using the servers that were disabled as a repository for storing information before relaying it to computers in Russia," the people said. "But Colonial’s data hadn’t yet been sent, which allowed investigators to retrieve it," the people said.

Please click here to read the full article. 
Article - PDF Version 

Statements by Policymakers on the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm
"The closing of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline system at the hands of hackers illustrates how at risk the infrastructure is to cyberattacks," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Monday.

“It tells you how utterly vulnerable we are,” Granholm said during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power” program. “We’re seeing all of these examples of ransomware attacks coming -- whether it’s telecommunications or this critical infrastructure. And obviously, in my lane, I’m very worried about the energy infrastructure.”

Senator Angus King (I-ME) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
Senator Angus King, independent from Maine, and Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican from Wisconsin, who are co-chairs of the CyberSpace Solarium Commission, said in a statement the Colonial Pipeline attack underscores the need for more robust cybersecurity measures.

“We are disappointed, though unsurprised, to learn of the cyber-attack that shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline,” they said. “This interruption of the distribution of refined gasoline and jet fuel underscores the vulnerability of our national critical infrastructure in cyberspace and the need for effective cybersecurity defenses.”