Colonial Pipeline. Fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

US Emergency Declared After Cyber Criminals Cut 45% of the Fuel Supply to the East Coast

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate activists in New York and other East Coast cities may have an opportunity to live their dream of life without fossil fuel, as operators of the Colonial pipeline struggle to fix damage from a cyber attack which shut down the pipeline on May 7th.

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day

Oil transport by road allowed after Colonial Pipeline goes down, operator says recovery is under way but offers no recovery date

Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor 
Mon 10 May 2021 // 00:15 UTC

One of the USA’s largest oil pipelines has been shut by ransomware, leading the nation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a regional emergency declaration permitting the transport of fuel by road.

The Colonial Pipeline says it carries 100 million gallons a day of refined fuels between Houston, Texas, and New York Harbor, or 45 percent of all fuel needed on the USA’s East Coast. The pipeline carries fuel for cars and trucks, jet fuel, and heating oil.

It’s been offline since May 7th, according to a company statement, due to what the outfit described as “… a cybersecurity attack [that] involves ransomware.”

It added: “In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.”

Read more: https://www.theregister.com/2021/05/10/colonial_pipeline_ransomware/

As a software expert, my first thought is someone who allows the connection of mission critical control systems to the internet should probably consider a different career. But perhaps I am being unfair. Even the most carefully isolated systems can be undone, if a careless employee or contractor connects their infected laptop to an internal network.

Update (EW): According to the BBC, the authors of the Colonial pipeline ransomware attack have denied their motivation was terrorism, though the BBC claims the software is set up to avoid infecting systems where the language setting is Russian.

“Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society. … We do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for… our motives … From today, we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”.

Can’t help thinking whatever their professed motivation, they are going to receive a personal visit from some scary people in the near future. The apparent Russian connection is embarrassing for President Putin, and they hurt the USA.

Do not try to view the Darkside website to see the statement from the criminals first hand – boobytrapping web pages is an old hacker trick.

4.9 29 votes
Article Rating
262 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:03 pm

It was Griff

Rich Davis
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:39 pm

C’mon, you think griff has those hacker skillz?

B Clarke
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 10, 2021 4:05 pm

Yes he’s not come in yet to deny the deed nor the other two amigos

I will concede they probably had help from their parents. It was a coordinated job.

Rich Davis
Reply to  B Clarke
May 11, 2021 3:02 am

So you are suggesting that his mum came down to the basement to assist I suppose?

observer
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 12, 2021 8:52 am

Are you suggestion Griff is Russian?

As it happens, the BBC is lying by omission (again!)

“Yes, a version of the DarkNet software does exclude itself from running on system with specific language settings:


The DarkSide malware is even built to conduct language checks on targets and to shut down if it detects Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Turkmen, Romanian, and other languages …

That is a quite long list of east European languags and Russian is only one of it. Why the authors of DarkNet do not want their software to run on machines with those language settings is unknown. But why would a Russian actor protect machines with Ukrainian or Romanian language settings? Both countries are hostile towards Russia. To claim that this somehow points to Russian actors is therefore baseless.”

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/05/more-hacks-more-baseless-accusations-against-russia.html

Last edited 1 month ago by observer
David Kamakaris
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:59 pm

Griff had help from Loydo and Nyolci.

B Clarke
Reply to  David Kamakaris
May 10, 2021 3:00 pm

The three hacker amigos!

Bryan A
Reply to  David Kamakaris
May 10, 2021 3:28 pm

I thought that was Phlegm, Sputum and Catarrh.
Oh…It is

John Enditcott
Reply to  David Kamakaris
May 12, 2021 3:24 pm

Between the three of them, there isn’t really enough active braincells to accomplish such a task. They must have had help from their paymasters.

Tom in Toronto
May 10, 2021 2:04 pm

QUICK! Erect some offshore wind-turbines from the Strategic Wind Reserve!

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Tom in Toronto
May 10, 2021 2:12 pm

New York’s dream is coming true.

Pauleta
Reply to  Tom in Toronto
May 10, 2021 3:08 pm

One (dumb) Brazilian president used to say that she wanted to stock wind.

Buckeyebob
Reply to  Pauleta
May 11, 2021 6:09 am

She must have big bowels.

May 10, 2021 2:08 pm

Let’s say there is infrastructure connected to computers which are connected to the internet. Ransomware encryption is placed on vital computer programs. .. This should be solved quicker than three days.. You unplug the internet. Reinstall the operating system, reinstall the programs, start up the infrastructure. This should be doable, if professionalism exists..

Civilians don’t do this with their home PC because they a lot of personal stuff that would be lost and because normal ransomware is not priced too high.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 3:16 pm

Wow, I sure hope that a company of this size and scope, with this strategic impact on the country would have some substantial auditor scrutiny on their cybersecurity stance. But who knows? Nothing is less effective than government employees.

dk_
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 10, 2021 4:05 pm

Government auditors are never liable for failure. The only scheme that is proven to mitigate the current situation is the one solved by British shipping centuries ago: a highly incentivized risk/insurance scheme. Not “insurance as licensing fees,” but one like Lloyds.

Jay Hendon
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 3:59 pm

No Eric, you are assuming they DON’T

rbabcock
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 11, 2021 4:15 am

It may be they don’t have a restore strategy.

Spetzer86
Reply to  rbabcock
May 11, 2021 5:11 am

Maybe they had a strategy, but had never actually attempted to implement it and something didn’t work like they thought it would.

Matthew Siekierski
Reply to  Spetzer86
May 11, 2021 5:44 am

This is all too often the case. Backup systems are put in place and then ignored for years. New servers are added and not included in the backup. Backups don’t get verified. No testing done to make sure a restore is possible. No documentation exists to detail how to recover from a disaster (that’s where I’m at right now, working on documenting my disaster recovery procedures).

The last time I was testing a major software upgrade instead of cloning my virtual servers into a test environment I restored them from the backup. Got a two-fer out of that…tested the disaster recovery of the DC, file server, and database server and then tested the software upgrades.

Paul
Reply to  rbabcock
May 11, 2021 8:00 am

MY personal experience is just that. Restoring was NEVER tried. Some businesses backed up daily to the same tape, but never cycled through a complete set. Others never, ever tried to restore. Usually the least qualified employee was tasked with doing the backup. Others made system changes with new disk storage, but never modified the backup to include the new disk drives.
Paul

Reply to  Paul
May 11, 2021 6:47 pm

Client of a company I worked for many, many years ago was quite religious about making sure that they ran daily backups and cycled the generations through their safe deposit box.

When their server crashed, they had multiple perfect backups available – of the MS Encarta CD that was in the E: drive.

(I was the company expert on recovering thoroughly trashed databases. When all was done, I swear that the finance manager would have had my babies had she been young enough…)

observer
Reply to  Paul
May 12, 2021 8:58 am

I work in data recovery and you are 100% correct on all points.

Bill
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 13, 2021 8:04 pm

The most important strategy is the restore strategy, not the backup strategy. 🙂

dk_
Reply to  Henry
May 10, 2021 3:56 pm

Your plan would have worked perfectly in year 2000. In the last ten or more years not so much.
It took many more than three days for Great Britain’s National Health Service to recover from their ransomware attack, and no one is reporting the true number of deaths or harm done from it.
It has nothing at all to do with professionalism, but more like complexity of systems have made them extremely difficult to manage or even mildly secure.
Foreign intelligence services have taken over hacking of infrastructure and financial networks, and every node is a potential attack vector. They have perfect counter intelligence systems, meaning they pay for them by actual pirating and ransom software as a criminal service. Unless your network is completely private — meaning not the Internet — it is completely vulnerable. And it’s in your phone and your e-book reader, too. You really, really should be very, very afraid.
Compared to this very real threat, climate change is less than nothing.

Last edited 1 month ago by dk_
mario lento
Reply to  Henry
May 10, 2021 9:55 pm

It depends. If they had a system that tracked historical information that was needed to operate the system, and failed to have reasonable back ups, they would lose that data and would not be able to operate based on that data. One thing we do not know is what the actual hack did technically to their system. But otherwise, yes, one would think a reinstall would get the system running again.

Alex
Reply to  Henry
May 10, 2021 11:01 pm

I’d go further.
Anybody, who installs Windows, must be lynched by public on the nearest central plaza.

Ralph
Reply to  Henry
May 12, 2021 3:12 am

I backup my 512gb SSD OS with a mirror image to another 512gb SSD once a month. Takes about 5 minutes. Why can’t industry do that?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ralph
Boris
Reply to  Henry
May 12, 2021 10:55 pm

This sounds a lot like the last major power outage in the East of USA and Canada back in 2003 when it comes to a vulnerable system. The power grid control canter in Indianapolis had gone through a major upgrade in 2000 to give better control of the NE US grid and its ties to the Canadian suppliers. This upgrade included software that was supposed to prevent a total system collapse and black out if something triggered the grid to go unstable. A massive load shed and control program was installed but NEVER tested in real time on a live grid. So we had a piece of untested software that was in control.

Fast forward ahead three years to 2003 a small feeder line outside Cincinnati had an accountant who on his own modified the brush clearing contract for the power lines from 5 year cycle to a 7 year cycle to save money for this small company. Unfortunately nobody told the trees to reduce their growth for the extended time. During a very hot day in the summer the power lines under heavy load drooped into the higher tree tops shorting out to ground. Which tripped this lines ground fault protection taking this line out of service causing the power grid in that area to become unstable.

This started a cascade of power systems overloading and tripping out that did not stop till the whole NE US and Canada’s Ontario and Quebec provinces were in the dark.

To further exacerbate the problem ALL 12 of the Candu 3 Nuclear reactors in Ontario had to go into a “Death” scram where the heavy water is injected with large amounts of Boron to kill the reaction quickly. For a 1 Gigi Watt Candu 3 reactor at full load to suddenly loose its load it is engineered to be able to shutdown without the Boron injection using the power plants emergency backup cooling pumps. When all 4 reactors at each plant trip at the same time the back up cooling system was not able to accomplice this emergency cooling unless the Boron injection is used. It then takes 4 to 6 weeks to filter the Boron out of the heavy water to allow for the reaction to be started up.

So from a small oversight by an accountant the whole NE US and Canada suffered a very long term power outage and recovery. The actual software installed to prevent this type of power failure was never tested and when called to work it made the problem worse by failing to stop the cascade till the whole thing was gone.

We as a society really like to make the same mistakes over and over again by putting too much emphasis on flawed control systems that are vulnerable to outside influences. As we can see by this latest screw up the WHOLE of the US is been affected as the rest of the US is in panic mode to get gasoline and diesel before the supplies dry up even though this is affecting the East coast directly. Reminds me of the great Toilet Paper shortage last year.

Tom Halla
May 10, 2021 2:12 pm

The second major energy infrastructure problem this year, with the first being the February Texas blackout.
This is starting to be ominously like the Carter administration. Gas lines, anyone?

M Courtney
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 10, 2021 2:19 pm

One was crime. The other was weather.
What’s the link here?

Tom Halla
Reply to  M Courtney
May 10, 2021 2:28 pm

Badly designed systems in both.

Bryan A
Reply to  M Courtney
May 10, 2021 3:30 pm

Both point out Lack of Planning for Energy Supplies

ryan
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 10, 2021 3:36 pm

you left out the cancellation of Keystone.

UNGN
Reply to  ryan
May 11, 2021 8:13 am

Weird how no one in the media mentioned Joe is all about canceling pipelines.

Maybe the daycare infrastructure he is proposing will fix this.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 11, 2021 3:13 am

Dementia Joe was in his second term as senator during the Carter Fiasco. He’s looking to his good ole days before Reagan wrecked things. Make America Lame Again!

Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 2:18 pm

The reporting here in the US has been a bit muddled. It appears the ransomeware infected and encrypted business systems, not the more ‘isolated’ pipeline physical operating system. Colonial said it shut everything down out of an abundance of caution, implying some internal systems overlaps. That seems possible, as, for example, billing needs to know how much of what was piped where, and that sort of info comes from the core operations control systems. They said they hope to be operating by end of the week, but that the situation was ‘fluid’.

This is a real wakeup call about physical cybersecurity. The electric grid is more vulnerable because there are so many more players, only one needing to be a weak security link. And there was a hack two weeks ago to a major municipal water system here in Florida. The hack attempted but failed to grossly overchlorinate the water. The failure was because the water system was not fully automated, and had operators on watch 24/7.

Rick C
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 2:56 pm

My guess is that they won’t pump any fuel until the make sure their business systems will assure that it’s paid for.

Drake
Reply to  Rick C
May 10, 2021 5:07 pm

That would be smart.

observa
Reply to  Drake
May 10, 2021 7:44 pm

They don’t want to be accused of avoiding their carbon taxes so they’re taking their time to get it right for the Green folks.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Rick C
May 12, 2021 7:12 am

The issue is more about who has title to how much of which product pumped to which destinations. That entails metering and sampling and operational recording of valve settings etc. Once you can do that bit, figuring out payment for the operations is the easy bit.

c1ue
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 11, 2021 6:19 am

It is fairly clear that the actual mechanics of the pipeline are fine – the problem is the operator can’t bill customers and possibly cannot understand who is getting what out of the pipeline.
Yes, cyber security matters but it is most often an outcome of bad IT practices and poor/nonexistent contingency planning.

JamesD
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 11, 2021 7:01 am

Yep, tying in report generation to control systems is a source of arguments. It is a security risk. Just hire some darn clerks to do data entry. Give them a database form on the corporate network and let them read a summary page on the control network and type in the data.

Another solution is to do data transfer between control network and corporate network with a low level protocol like MODBUS over a serial connection. The corporate side is the slave node.

B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:21 pm

Oil transport by road allowed ” is that crude oil, refined oil? Why is oil not allowed to be moved by road unless there’s a emergency?

Tom Halla
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:30 pm

The reporting I have seen is that it is refined product, like gas or jet fuel.

B Clarke
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 10, 2021 2:32 pm

Thanks Tom

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 10, 2021 2:45 pm

For sure it is all refined product from TX to NY. There are actually two physical pipelines in the Colonial system. One is exclusively for gasoline. The other is for diesel and jet kerosine.

B Clarke
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 2:48 pm

For my fellow islanders that petrol and paraffin.

dk_
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 4:10 pm

A pound is a pound the world round, but JP8 is jet fuel.

B Clarke
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 4:23 pm

Jp8 is paraffin what you call kerosene, theres jp4 amongst others there all basically from the same root,drawn off at different points in distilling process with add on and take offs

Kerosene in the UK is heating oil , you could at one time run a diesel engine on it,

Football in the UK is football ,soccer in the UK is football, soccer in the USA is football, football in the USA is a strange game were people charge at each other in the pretence of grabbing a ball when actually there trying to kill each other, in the UK we call this rugby.

dk_
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 4:41 pm

🙂 Football? Now you’re being political. Dem’s fitten words!
Jet grade kerosene is mixed with aircraft grade gasoline at or near the delivery site. If you order the wrong thing for your turbine/turboprop, yuz ain’t gwan nowhare.
Chips are potatoes. Can’t we all just get along?

B Clarke
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 4:52 pm

Cause we can, and if given the opportunity I would emigrate to the usa . A penny for your dime!

dk_
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 5:47 pm

And welcome.

H.R.
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 7:30 pm

You have to be bilingual in English on this blog.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  H.R.
May 10, 2021 9:33 pm

Two countries kept apart by a common language.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  B Clarke
May 11, 2021 4:35 am

American football seems to be getting more “Rugby-like. They have started with gathering around their running back, who is carrying the ball, and they push him from behind until he gets over the goalline or first down line.

Now that they are doing this, shouldn’t the linemen get a little credit for the yards the running back gained? They should probably split up the yards gained among all the players pushing on the running back, seeing as how the running back would not have made that gain but for the extra push from his teammates.

I personally, don’t like this practice. The running back should do it all on his own, like in the old days. Pushing him across the goalline should be a penalty, like in the old days.

B Clarke
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 5:08 am

That sounds like a scrum Tom, but I don’t really know the rules of both sports, I’m more into motor sports myself. Thanks

michael hart
Reply to  B Clarke
May 11, 2021 2:49 pm

Frankly, I never understood how any sport could describe something shaped like a pointy egg, as a “ball”.

B Clarke
Reply to  michael hart
May 11, 2021 4:16 pm

I think its a testi thing we call them balls too.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 12, 2021 7:18 am

While rolling auls are permitted in rugby, a truck and trailer formation is a penalty offence.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:33 pm

Likely the expense and risk suffered. Pipeline is the cheapest and safest. Trucks are normally only used for distribution transport to end user. Even then, a pump delivery hose is arguably a ‘pipe’.

B Clarke
Reply to  Doug Huffman
May 10, 2021 2:35 pm

Thanks Doug,

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:38 pm

It is irrelevant whether it is allowed or not since it is very unlikely there exists sufficient tankers or certified drivers to do so. In fact I have read elsewhere that the trucking companies already had trouble getting enough certified drivers to keep up with local deliveries even before this.

B Clarke
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
May 10, 2021 3:06 pm

Cheers 👍

jtom
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
May 10, 2021 4:37 pm

The pipeline transports 100 million gallons a day. That would require about 8500 fuel tanker trucks per day. Roundtrips to the end destinations would be around a week, so you would need several times that many trucks. All of which is moot, since there isn’t an infrastructure that could load that many tanker trucks per day.

B Clarke
Reply to  jtom
May 10, 2021 5:04 pm

John casey ex nasa guy grand solar minimum guy , predicted a similar situation thats playing out now with fuel supply ,pipe lines damaged.

Nashville
Reply to  jtom
May 10, 2021 7:33 pm

I think you missed on the math.
gas is a little over 6 lbs a gallon.
I think a truck can carry 45,000 lbs.
45,000 at 6 lbs = 7,500 gallons.
100,000,000 at 7,500 = 13,333 tankers a day.
as you pointed out, round trip of 7 days would require 93,333 thank trucks on the road at all times.

rah
Reply to  Nashville
May 10, 2021 9:22 pm

And neither of you calculated based on the hours of service. A driver can only drive 11 hours and then a 10 hour break is required. Then there is the on duty time for transloading, Inspections, etc. After 14 hours of duty, of which 11 can be driving, a driver must take a 10 hour break before they can drive again.

Then there is the 70 hour rule. A driver cannot log more than 70 hours on duty and drive. They must take a 34 hour break to get back their 70 hours of duty time once they reach 70 hours, Now if say by midnight of the 8th day starting a new 70 hour cycle you have not reached 70 hours of duty time you get back the duty hours logged on day 1. At midnight of the 9th day you get back the duty hours of day 2. And so on and so forth. This is called rolling over on your 70. To do that though you can’t log more than 8 1/2 hours duty time on average per duty cycle.

The fastest and most efficient way to haul anything longer distances is team driving or relaying.

Oldseadog
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 2:55 am

Rah, the most efficient way to haul anything over long distances it to put it on a ship.

rah
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 11, 2021 3:05 am

I was referring only over the ground. As far as ships being most efficient? Fuel yes! Time? Maybe maybe not. But you would run into a little thing called The Jones Act! The Jones Act Definition (investopedia.com)

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 6:57 am

Modern railroads are also very efficient.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 11, 2021 8:48 am

And can move massive quantities with little manpower, unlike trucking. If there’s a pipeline “issue,” rail transport is the answer.

Timo, not that one
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 11, 2021 12:15 pm

My railway telegraph operator father used to say, “Rail is the only way to move 90,000 tons of goods at 60mph.” or something to that effect.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 12, 2021 7:23 am

If you have the railcars….

jtom
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 4:31 pm

It takes 24 hours to drive from Houston, TX, at the head of the pipeline to Linden, NJ, the end of the line. I think you will find that three days to get there, three days to return, and one day for loading/unloading, and for other needs, is not far off from reality. That’s one week. No need to stretch the numbers. They are impossible to achieve as they are.

rah
Reply to  Nashville
May 11, 2021 2:38 am

BTW the allied Armies tried what you guys are talking about during WW II. It was called “The Red Ball Express” and it worked for awhile but as the number of Divisions needed supply grew, including fuel hungry Armored Divisions, and the distances from the Normandy beaches increased to several hundred miles it was found to be sorely lacking and quite inefficient.

Not until they got the port of Antwerp open with the enemy cleaned out of the sea lane to access it, was it possible to finish the drive into Germany.

The lack of winter clothing that the US troops suffered from during the winter of 44-45, the Battle of the Bulge, being the best known example by most, was a direct result of a decision by Omar Bradley to keep the Armies moving forward despite the logistical nightmare. Fuel, ammo, medical supplies, etc took priority over clothing and other things deemed less essential.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 4:46 am

I think I have a book in the other room about the Red Ball Express.

jtom
Reply to  Nashville
May 11, 2021 4:22 pm

Tanker trucks capacities are measured in gallons.
“ Small tanker trucks have a maximum capacity of 3,000 gallons, while large tankers have a maximum capacity of 11,600 gallons. However, the maximum capacity of a tanker truck depends on the density of the liquid being transported, explains Bulk Cargo Systems. Tanker trucks are categorized by volume capacity and size.”
https://www.reference.com/business-finance/many-gallons-tanker-truck-hold-98cd8f85aa0d92b4

100,000,000 / 11,600 = 8620.69.

mike macray
Reply to  jtom
May 11, 2021 3:26 am

“The pipeline transports 100 million gallons a day…. etc.”
Recalling the gas crisis of ’74 I remember a similar assessment of the one of the main causes of the shortage being the sudden (panic induced) increase in the average gas tank fuel content. Pre crisis the average vehicle was driving with gas tank below quarter full before refuelling and suddenly every one was driving with three quarter full tanks and stopping to ‘top up’ at every opportunity.
cheers
mike

Tom Abbott
Reply to  mike macray
May 11, 2021 4:49 am

The gasoline crisis in the 1970’s started out with long gas lines and all sorts of fiascos, but the gas lines were eventually brought under control by setting our rules for how people would refuel. Those whose license numbers ending in even numbers refueled on certain days, and the ones ending in odd numbers refueled on different days.

rah
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 8:47 am

Did you forget about the 55 mph speed limit? That legacy held on in many states for big trucks, in MI, PA, and IL for decades. And still applies in CA.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 3:49 pm

No, I didn’t forget about that speed limit change from 65mph to 55mph.

A day or so after that change, I had to commute about 50 milies to my job, and it was about dawn on a Sunday morning and I was driving on a four-lane highway with no other traffice in sight and I was going 65mph and came over a hill and there was a highway patrolman going the opposite direction.

The only turnaround to get back in my lane was about two miles down the road, but that highway patrolman went all the way down there and turned around and chased me down and gave me a ticket for going 10mph over the new speed limit!

That’s what you call dedication!

My uncle was an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman, but I didn’t mention that to the guy giving me the ticket. I judged that mentioning that would probably not have helped my case with this guy.

My uncle ended up being the chief purchase officer for the entire Oklahoma Highway Patrol organization.

He was tough as nails! The perfect sterotype for a no-nonsense cop. About 6’5″ and about 250 pounds and you better be polite around him if you know what’s good for you.

He gave the governor of Oklahoma a speeding ticket at one time when he was a new highway patrolman. The governor asked him if he knew who he was and he said yes he did, and gave him the ticket anyway. The governor ended up retaliating against my uncle, but my uncle outlasted him in the end and came out on top.

When I joined the Army I stayed a few days with my uncle in Oklahoma City and he took me out in his new highway patrol car a 440 cu in wedge Plymouth. And he and I were arguing about whether his cruiser could keep up with a Chevy Corvette, and he finally leaned over and patted his radio, and said, well, if I can’t catch him, this thing can. 🙂

He’s patrolling Heaven’s streets right now. I think the Good Lord will let him in. Can’t see any reason why not. He was a good man.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  mike macray
May 11, 2021 11:33 pm

It is very obvious from what happens whenever a tropical system appears on the map that might be heading towards some place like Florida.
By the time even a few percent of drivers have gone and filled the tank and a couple of gas cans, the stations are empty and lines are down the block.

TonyG
Reply to  jtom
May 11, 2021 6:49 am

there also aren’t sufficient drivers.

rah
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
May 10, 2021 9:11 pm

There was a 30% shortage of class A CDL drivers before COVID. It is now up to nearly 50%. Besides the Class A CDL one must also have Tanker and HazMat indorsements to haul bulk POL. But trucks are not the way bulk POL is generally transported for longer distances. Rail is! And that is dependent upon tanker cars and infrastructure.

BTW during emergencies the DOT can waive certain requirements. For example during a shortage of LP a couple winters ago in certain regions they waived the hours of service regulations for the drivers hauling it.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
May 12, 2021 7:22 am

The other alternative is coastwise shipment. Again, the lack of berth capacity and US flag Jones Act compliant vessels limits what can be done, and is less useful for the inland portions of states along the pipeline route.

Len Werner
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 6:56 pm

The emergency exemptions from provisions of Part 390-399 refer mainly to drivers’ hours of duty in interstate trucking, not to whether products can or can not be carried by road. This has nothing to do with a special allowance for transport of any particular product.

rah
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 7:21 pm

Crude and refined is moved by tanker trucks all the time. When you see a tanker with a large hatch at the top painted black it is more than likely collecting the crude from the pumping stations. But the prime backup for POL when a pipeline goes down and longer distances are involved would be train if they have the tanker cars and infrastructure to do it.

Doug Huffman
May 10, 2021 2:27 pm

Is Miss Bradley Manning still incarcerated, and if not, is it being surveilled?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Doug Huffman
May 10, 2021 2:44 pm

What’s the connection to Manning in this? I thought that was about leaking secret documents?

Oh and shame-shame-shame on you for dead-naming! 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich Davis
dk_
Reply to  Doug Huffman
May 10, 2021 6:37 pm

Maybe you are thinking Snowden, and yes, he is still around, and under Putins desk thumb, and putting weekly doses of mixed self-incrimination and propaganda on line.

TonyG
May 10, 2021 2:30 pm

I have found that “cyber” security is an afterthought to many businesses, large and small. Including financial institutions. What’s really sad is how much they blow it on the basic, simplest stuff (like encrypting passwords in the database). If they can’t even get that right, it’s no surprise the more diabolical threats get through.

whiten
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 11:19 pm

Most probably the old one too.

Anon
Reply to  TonyG
May 10, 2021 3:22 pm

I have found that “cyber” security is an afterthought to many businesses.

And even those whose tradecraft is security apparently:

UK teen who hacked CIA chief gets two-year prison term

He was 15 and 16 when, from his bedroom in Coalville, central England, he managed to impersonate his targets to get passwords and gain highly sensitive information.

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-uk-teen-hacked-cia-chief.html

I don’t even know what to say about the above article… but I suspect the present story will get spun to: “Vladimir Putin demands $10,000 in Bitcoin and lifetime subscription to Xbox Game Pass to reinstate oil pipeline administrative access.” (lol)

Derg
Reply to  Anon
May 10, 2021 6:07 pm

Russia colluuuusion 😉

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Derg
May 11, 2021 4:56 am

It’s almost like the American companies are colluding with the Russians by not taking internet security seriously.

I think Congress should require essential services such as the power grid, and pipelines and water purification facilities be disconnected from the internet. If they need a network to operate properly, then set up a private, secure network, not connected to the internet.

Monetary fines would keep the CEO’s minds focused.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 7:00 am

John Podesta’s password password.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 7:46 am

Attaboy! (/sarc)

“I think Congress should require essential services…”

Please show us a “crisis” that wasn’t preceded by government intervention. Dot Com bubble? Real Estate bubble? Been going on for over a century, as noted by H.L. Mencken, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Coincidentally, today is “Patch Tuesday”. Fyi, most prudent IT types install these with a lag to ensure that the latest update doesn’t brick their machines.

On second thought, maybe Congress should require politically well connected soft ware monopolists to provide operating systems that don’t blindly execute every piece of code that comes over the web.

John Bell
May 10, 2021 2:31 pm

Three different fuels in one pipe? Must be more than one. Have MacGuyver hotwire the pumps on.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  John Bell
May 10, 2021 2:48 pm

See above. Two pipes. One for gas, the other diesel and jet kerosine. The different gas grades and the diesel jet are kept separated by ‘pigs’ which are really plugs.

B Clarke
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 3:25 pm

Trivia alert, a “pig” was also a term used by the romans for a lead ingot .

Jay Hendon
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 4:04 pm

No Rud, not “pigs” nor “plugs.” The separate the different products with WATER.

JamesD
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 11, 2021 7:10 am

Usually they don’t separate them and have a tank to catch the interface at the terminal. I’ve also heard about using a butane “pillow”, which is just a shot of butane between tenders.

87 Octane gasoline gets all of the cats and dogs slowly blended into it.

And you definitely would not put water anywhere near jet fuel.

MarkW
Reply to  John Bell
May 10, 2021 2:53 pm

They’ve been sending multiple grades of product through pipelines for many decades.
Sometimes they put a plug in between the grades to separate them. On narrower pipes, they would have miles and miles of one grade in the pipe, then switch to another grade and they will pump miles and miles of that grade. Compared to the total amount of volume of either grade, the area where the two might mix is miniscule.

Dena
Reply to  MarkW
May 10, 2021 3:56 pm

In the past they put water between the different fuels. There were a few problems with moister in the fuel so they put a small amount of radioactive material between the different fuels so they knew when to switch to a different collection tank. They might have improved on that as I am not up to date on the current practice but as long as you can tell where the fuel changes, the mixing of difference fuels isn’t much of a problem.

SMC
Reply to  Dena
May 11, 2021 6:06 am

They use density gauges, called ‘cut gauges’, on the pipelines, now, to measure the ‘cuts’. Different products have different densities, the mixing zone between the different products is very small, even after being pumped hundreds of miles.

Scissor
Reply to  MarkW
May 10, 2021 4:03 pm

Order is important when making product cuts. It’s OK to get a little jet in diesel, but diesel in jet, especially A-1, will cause the jet freeze point spec to fail.

Slop tanks are often used at terminals to help manage these cuts.

David Thompson
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2021 4:44 am

That’s how colonial pipeline’s website explains the procedure. The slop tank is sent back to the refinery.

Jay Hendon
Reply to  MarkW
May 10, 2021 4:05 pm

Water is used to separate the various grades.

Jay Hendon
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 4:05 pm

No Eric, you don’t have clue. Water is used.

jtom
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 10, 2021 5:03 pm

Enough, Jay. Are you capable of basic research? If no, you are on the wrong site. I have read enough of Mr. Worrall s contributions to know he’s well-versed on this subject.

“ Smart pigging
Pipeline pigs are utilized for a variety of tasks in pipeline integrity management. This includes cleaning the pipelines, separating product batches, as well as gauging pipeline condition. It can help gain valuable information about corrosion, cracks, wall thickness as well as existing leaks in pipelines. In this case, we use the term smart pigging. To perform pigging, a pig is inserted into the pipeline using a pig launcher. The pig advances through the pipeline, propelled by the medium and gathers data along the way. A receiver is used to guide the pig out of the pipeline to subsequently analyze the collected data.”

Did you notice the words, “separating product batches”?
Then this:
“ Batch Transportation – Pigs are used to separate batches of different products inside of a pipeline. This is required in the case of a multi-product pipeline transporting more than one type of hydrocarbon in batches.”

All of the above comes from https://epcmholdings.com/multi-product-pipelines/

I will leave it to you to research EPCM Holdings.

Unlike you, I will not accuse you of being clueless. I cannot prove a negative, to wit, that water is not being used somewhere, somehow, to separate products in a pipeline. It is incumbent on you to show that this is done. Please provide a link to an expert resource that describes the practice.

JamesD
Reply to  jtom
May 11, 2021 7:13 am

You don’t put compressed air into a gasoline pipeline. You also don’t use pigs. Maybe 20 years ago that was the practice, but now they use online density meters to catch the cut.

paul courtney
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 11, 2021 7:59 am

Saw this yesterday, figured I’d return today to see if anything Hendon says can hold up. Nope! The more sure he is, the more wrong he is. I don’t know from pipelines, but when you insist that water gets mixed with refined jet fuel, I get the picture.

OldGreyGuy
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 5:35 pm

Can’t talk about today’s practices but at some point in the late 70’s I used to work for an oil company and we used “pigs” to separate the grades of oil products being shipped along our pipeline. The unit had a radio emitter so we could track it as it progressed and swap it in and out at our tank farm. This was a specialty oil blending plant and did not have to ship the huge volume they are talking about in this pipeline.

Peter Francis Moliterno
Reply to  OldGreyGuy
May 11, 2021 4:28 am

They definitely do not inject water into the pipeline to separate batches of products. There are about 10 cycles per month for various grades of diesel, kerosene, jet, and gasoline. There are dual pipelines for the compatible distillates and gasolines to Greensboro. After Greensboro the batches are shipped one after another in a specific order and they are not separated by pigs. There is an interface generated as the product moves down the line and at the very end of the line the interface is collected and shipped by truck back to Richmond Virginia where it is distilled back into diesel and gasoline. I used some of the re-refined distillate to run power plants 25 years ago. Contamination with water is such a huge problem that they still do not put the 10% ethanol/gasoline blends (E10) that we use in 87 octane “unleaded regular” through the pipeline. RBOB is what is shipped up the pipeline and the last 10% ethanol is added at pipeline terminals. Ethanol has the unfortunate characteristic of soaking up water and then seperating from gasoline once it has. Fuel grade ethanol has to be dried chemically down to about 10 ppm water before it can be legally mixed into gasoline. You can get very bad tasting ethanol out of gasoline by adding some water and shaking it.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 10, 2021 2:31 pm

As a software expert, my first thought is someone who allows the connection of mission critical control systems to the internet should probably consider a different career. But perhaps I am being unfair. Even the most carefully isolated systems can be undone, if a careless employee or contractor connects their infected laptop to an internal network.

The ransomware may be a cover for something more nefarious in the way of state-sponsored action, say from Iran.

dk_
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 11, 2021 2:26 am

I don’t think the hackers admitted any such thing, they just denied the aim was terrorism.
When Russian intelligence has thouroughly penetrated and milked a network, they either sell off the access, or fund themselves directly through this type of operation.
Putin is not embarrassed. His is a nearly perfect intelligence system, that pays for itself. It is also perfectly aligned with his own KGB and Russian organized crime history.
But we have only the BBC’s speculative report that this was anything to do with Russia. How much of the world will take Putin’s word over BBC on anything?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  dk_
May 11, 2021 5:10 am

“Putin is not embarrassed.”

I agree with that.

Putin is not worried about Joe Biden. If Biden gets too pushy, Putin will just remind Biden about the $3.5 million bribe Joe’s son Hunter, got from the wife of the Mayor of Moscow and threaten to disclose further details.

Why did the wife of the Mayor of Moscow give Hunter Biden $3.5 million? What did Moscow get in return? I bet Putin knows. Joe knows, too. The American people need to know, too.

bonbon
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 1:34 am

These guys have plenty of practice at that, as the White Knight said to Alice.
Ever hear of Marble Framework, one of the CIA toolboxes revealed in Vault 7?
Of course the CIA is Deep State… and sponsored indeed.

What is the effect of this attack, and why now, if the IT systems are likely still running Windows XP?

Still, I’m waiting to hear it was the exact same 2 Russians who not only poisoned the Skripals in Britain, but bombed the Czech warehouse in 2018, which has led to calls for the impeachment of their President who said their investigation proved an accident. The blowback is terrific – that NATO warehouse stored illegal cluster bombs.

Maybe Biden is getting a nudge before meeting Putin, just in case he actually speaks rationally?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bonbon
May 11, 2021 5:20 am

I’m still running XP on one of my computers. I haven’t had a virus attack in years and I don’t use any anti-virus software.

I do use a few other programs that keep my system safe. I have one that will not allow anything to be installed on my computer without my permission. Another won’t allow any scripts to execute without my permission.

There are many ways to stop a virus from installing itself on your computer. There are programs that can “fingerprint” all your programs, and won’t allow anything to run that does not match.

If a critical system has to be connected to the internet, then you have to take added precausions and lock your computer down from outside influences.

We can’t afford to have bumbling computer idiots destroying our infrastructure because they were too stupid to secure their computers and critical equipment.

JamesD
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 7:19 am

If you wanted to do damage, you’d bypass the shutdowns and close the suction valves on each of the 200 booster pumps. Or fry the drives or try to damage the motor windings. Months to recover from either op. Locking up a SCADA system? Should be recovered in a week, and now the company is alerted to the vulnerability.

This is likely what it seems to be. Hackers doing a ransomware attack.

Rich Lambert
May 10, 2021 2:36 pm

This is a failure of the Department of Homeland Security. From their website, “The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, and our goal is clear – keeping America safe.” The DHS is headed by Alejandro Mayorkas, the first immigrant to head the department.

Reply to  Rich Lambert
May 10, 2021 2:51 pm

Consider that they are pulling people from NASA to care for the hordes coming across the southern border. Many of their “cyber” people are probably too busy dishing out meals, mopping the floors, and changing diapers.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Rich Lambert
May 10, 2021 3:58 pm

Agree. Most of the folks here seem to have it in for Colonial’s IT department, which I assume is probably pretty sophisticated given the scale and complexity of their operation. Just maybe, one of the umpteen US intelligence services that are logging our every keystroke and phone call could take a break from spying on us and figure out who the perpetrators were and deliver some commensurate punishment.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Rich Lambert
May 10, 2021 5:03 pm

A few years ago I took a tour of a pipeline control center at a petroleum refinery. The tour guide mentioned that in the adjacent offices were personnel of the Department of Homeland Security. The person at the control station I visited was controlling filling a storage tank with gasoline about 700 miles distant.

leowaj
Reply to  Rich Lambert
May 10, 2021 7:48 pm

Under the Biden administration, any kind of discipline within the various defensive institutions will be non-existent. A democrat like Biden results in nothing but laxity, luxury, and laziness in the Federal government. I imagine it will get worse before we get a non-RINO conservative back in.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Lambert
May 11, 2021 5:25 am

“This is a failure of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Yes, it is!

Sparko
May 10, 2021 2:40 pm

Ah well, they’re phasing out fossil fuels, so it should be a good test of how renewables cope with running things.

B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:42 pm

So can anyone report effects in towns and cities, is America grinding to a standstill?

Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 2:56 pm

Give it a week or so, if the pipeline doesn’t get going again. Unless things have changed (could be) since I worked at one back in the 80s, tank farms do NOT run by “just in time” delivery of product – they keep those tanks at 85 to 95 percent of capacity.

B Clarke
Reply to  writing observer
May 10, 2021 3:04 pm

So refinery = tank farm = tanker, so there is or was some capacity remote from the refinery. Thanks.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 3:11 pm

Not yet. But if this isn’t sorted quickly, the East Coast will slowly grind to a transportation halt from lack of liquid fuels. Colonial is ~45% of the East Coast supply capacity. No way that can be replaced by trucks and trains.

We will not be affected here in South Florida. Our major Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades tank farm is supplied by tanker vessels carrying refined product from either Texas or the Caribbean. Trucks from Port Everglades run down to Miami/Keys, up beyond Palm Beach, and over to Naples via Alligator Alley. The 595/95 connector from the Port was rebuild a few years ago along with the FLL airport highway access just to facilitate this truck fuel distribution with an extra lane. (595 turns into Alligator Alley.) And we have more tank capacity now that the major Port Everglades electric generating station (was 2.2Gw, is now 2.4Gw) was rebuilt with CCGT fed from expanded natgas pipeline capacity. No more need for the old fuel oil tanks. They now hold gas, diesel, and jet.

B Clarke
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 4:08 pm

Thanks Rud

rah
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 9:30 pm

Effects are already being felt.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1391914491726766089

Scissor
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 4:08 pm

Surprisingly, gasoline in Pennsylvania is still well under $3/gallon.

B Clarke
Reply to  Scissor
May 10, 2021 4:48 pm

I was trying to work out the equivalent in the UK but we get into fractions of a litre to the gallon then there’s the us litre which is different again , so roughly speaking uk 4.5 litres is a gallon = £1.27 a gallon.us =$179 so it looks like you guys are paying more,in the UK we think USA fuel is a lot cheaper, clearly not anymore.

Drake
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 5:24 pm

A quick search shows 1 US gallon in the UK at $6.67 US. So a little (lol) more expensive in the UK.

https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/United-Kingdom/gasoline_prices/

rah
Reply to  Drake
May 10, 2021 7:24 pm

A lot more expensive all over Western Europe and was even so back in the 80’s. Not exactly cheap in Canada either.

OldGreyGuy
Reply to  B Clarke
May 10, 2021 5:41 pm

Again from my Oil Company work in the 70’s, I have ingrained in my head the value of 4.54619 being the number of litres in an imperial (UK) gallon although I have also seen 4.54609 used in some texts, probably doesn’t matter much for quantities under 100 gallons. US Gallon is more like 3.7854 litres.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  OldGreyGuy
May 12, 2021 8:10 am

4.54609 is the correct figure. You can do the sum in your head using the inverse which is almost exactly 0.22 (I.e.multiply litres by 0.22 to get Imperial gallons, divide by it to go the other way).

The US gallon is defined as 231 cubic inches, and these days the inch is defined as 2.54cm, so there is an exact conversion factor of 3.785411784

Editor
May 10, 2021 2:47 pm

The only real way to prevent these attacks is to Air Gap critical systems. This is expensive, as humans must then be involved in bringing critical information from the outside world onto the Air Gapped system, but is the only way to ensure reasonable safety.

The idea that everything should be inter-connected and then connected to the Internet, the World Wide Web, is simply put — INSANE.

2hotel9
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 10, 2021 3:01 pm

Yep. Systems worked just fine pre-intratubesthingy.

Editor
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 4:14 pm

Eric ==> Thus the constant news of one or another being hacked or ransomed.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 10, 2021 3:15 pm

Kip, agree. See my comments above on the apparent situation. Will opine that privately held pipeline operators probably do not invest in A+ IT departments.

Editor
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 4:17 pm

Rud ==> They don’t even take the free advice available at every anti-hacking/anti-ransomware site.

It is like leaving the bank vault door on a hook-and-ring latch system……the kind that I consider not secure enough for my chicken coop.

Fraizer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 10, 2021 3:29 pm

Don’t know anything about this pipeline in particular; but having had an under the hood look at many pipelines’ control/SCADA systems I can tell you that the security on many of them is abysmal.
Won’t give particulars for security reasons but until these companies wake up and start using end-to-end encrypted secure access and disable all USB ports you will see more of this. I am amazed that it has not happened before this.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Fraizer
May 11, 2021 5:39 am

Congress needs to step in and require adequate security from all these companies that control our critical national infrastructure. Leaving it up to the individual companies is not working.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 8:16 am

Congress, as in the US Congress? You forgot the /sarc tag.

JamesD
Reply to  Fraizer
May 11, 2021 7:30 am

Yeah, big problem is using Windows as the operating system for SCADA. They are even doing this on DCS’s. Operator plugs in a thumb drive and your are screwed. Should be an operating system like Qnx. Or a stripped down Linux with no applications besides necessary.

But soon someone gets the idea that it would be nice to put a PDF viewer on the SCADA computer. And then a browser so the operator can do training. It’s bad.

JamesD
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 11, 2021 7:26 am

There’s another way. Set up a data collector on the corporate network using a low level protocol like MODBUS. Make it a slave. Send the data via serial comms from the control network master. Note it is perfectly safe to use intervening serial servers to use TCP/IP for distance. You can have some flag bits on the slave which could be “request data dump”.

In this way the only interconnection is serial at the termination point, and the control network is the master that initiates all comms.

Editor
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 10:34 am

JamesD ==> Yes, there are modified Air Gap schemes that provide almost the same level of protection . . .

Fraizer
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 12:38 pm

Some systems have what is referred to as a DMZ (demilitarized zone) machine. A machine that straddles both the control and business networks but is configured such that data can be transferred from the control system but nothing can go the other way. There are data historians like PI that can provide this service (among others). The trouble I have seen is that both physical security as well as data routing are often non-existant or mis-configured.

As soon as you let someone insert a thumb drive or connect an unauthorized laptop you are screwed.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 11, 2021 9:55 am

Agree. In the early 1990s, if my memory is correct, I realized that the Internet was changing.

First, you were able to go “out onto the Internet” to get information or submit communications and software was installed from a CD or floppy disk. This was followed by the present situation within which “the Internet” is able to invade and control the desktop computer. At that time, I said to myself, “Oh no, watch out.”

Editor
Reply to  Bill Rocks
May 11, 2021 10:38 am

Bill ==> One must always protect against the Net reaching out to you.

When I was at IBM building web sites for the Olympics — our web security team had to be larger than our site production team — to fend off constant attacks.

2hotel9
May 10, 2021 2:58 pm

We know who these c**ksuckers are, why are we not feeding them 1000lbs JADAMS?

Observer
Reply to  2hotel9
May 10, 2021 3:12 pm

Prolly cuz it’s the 16-year old kid that lives just down the block 😉

Justin Burch
Reply to  2hotel9
May 10, 2021 3:51 pm

Because it is probably Americans acting on orders from Biden.

Derg
Reply to  Justin Burch
May 10, 2021 6:12 pm

Justin is it possible it’s some 3 letter agency?

I mean they pulled off Trump Russia colluuuusion

DonM
Reply to  2hotel9
May 10, 2021 4:11 pm

who are they?

2hotel9
Reply to  DonM
May 11, 2021 6:36 am

They call themselves Darkside and have hired PR firms in EU and Canada. Run them to ground and kill them all.

jtom
Reply to  2hotel9
May 10, 2021 5:09 pm

Overkill. Might cause collateral damage. A few well-placed, well-timed drones should be sufficient, and dare the country hosting these groups to retaliate in some way.

Richard Page
Reply to  2hotel9
May 11, 2021 3:37 am

Could be absolutely anyone from anywhere. Hackers all over the world were learning Russian and using Cyrillic keyboards decades ago because of the lack of accountability of the Russian web service – it’s no better now. Might well be Ukrainians again though if they’re playing up the Russian angle – they’d like nothing more than to see Russia take the blame for something like this.

2hotel9
Reply to  Richard Page
May 11, 2021 6:35 am

They call themselves Darkside and they are not hiding at all. Hunt them down and kill them in to most painful way imaginable, release the vids to the world. Do same for all identity thieves. Make these scumbags EVERYBODY’S target and kill them all.

JamesD
Reply to  2hotel9
May 11, 2021 7:31 am

In my opinion, “good guys”. They exposed a vulnerability during peace times. Imagine China exploiting this during war time.

2hotel9
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 12:02 pm

Attacks against infrastructure are acts of war, kill their leftarded a$$es.

peter schell
May 10, 2021 3:08 pm

I have to think that one of the reasons such ransomware attacks go unpunished is because the cost of hunting down and punishing the perpetrators is not worth it. But when hundreds of millions, and people’s lives are at stake the cost benefit equation has to swing way over to, “Get them, no matter what it cost.”

How possible is it that the attack was not targeted, but just someone hooking an infected system to the company system. In which case the criminals had no idea who they had hooked. They’d be like the guy in a rowboat who hooks a great white. I’m betting they cut the line and made themselves scarce.

Drake
Reply to  peter schell
May 10, 2021 5:28 pm

The FBI and US Justice department have MUCH more important things to do, like frame Rudy and figure out some way to stop TRUMP! from running in 2024.

rah
Reply to  Drake
May 10, 2021 7:26 pm

You forgot dodging taking the hard drive from Hunter’s computer and STILL trying to find some crime to charge Trump with.

starzmom
May 10, 2021 3:34 pm

Unfortunately the people who will be hurt are not the eco-warriors. The eco-warriors don’t care.

Drake
Reply to  starzmom
May 10, 2021 5:30 pm

When you ain’t got nothing you got nothing to lose.

And when you love in your parent’s basement, you got nothing to lose.

Stevek
May 10, 2021 3:39 pm

It would be nice to have more pipelines but today it is virtually impossible to build one that crosses a blue state.

Drake
Reply to  Stevek
May 10, 2021 5:34 pm

Yep. Let them all slowly destroy their economies. More of people with the financial ability will leave for TRUE BLUE states.

Ever notice that when it was FIRST done democrat states were red and republican blue, but a leftist, noticing the parallels with red and commies switched it. Time to switch it back.

Justin Burch
May 10, 2021 3:48 pm

The FBI say it was a cyberattack by foreign criminals. I personally have a very hard time believing anything the FBI says. I think the Biden Government did this to further their green agenda.

B Clarke
Reply to  Justin Burch
May 10, 2021 4:30 pm

The BBC agree with the FBI so it really is a lie .

mcswelll
Reply to  Justin Burch
May 10, 2021 8:44 pm

Paranoia strikes deep; into your life it will creep.

You have no clue.

Jay Hendon
May 10, 2021 3:56 pm

“As a software expert, my first thought is someone who allows the connection of mission critical control systems to the internet should probably consider a different career.”
.
As an IT manager I would not hire you, because you ASSUME the systems are connected to the internet. You should keep your mouth shut unless you know that private WAN connections were not used.

B Clarke
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 10, 2021 4:32 pm

Don’t think that’s a fair comment, many IT workers are working from home because of covid, on the Internet.

Curious George
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 10, 2021 5:03 pm

I presume that you are NOT an IT manager.

Drake
Reply to  Jay Hendon
May 10, 2021 5:36 pm

If it wasn’t connected somehow, then how did this happen????? Did an insider plug in a pin drive? Is that what you think?

Derg
Reply to  Drake
May 10, 2021 6:14 pm

Jay has no idea.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 10, 2021 7:28 pm

Eric,
Having been enjoying the interactions and discussions here at WUWT for some time now, I like to think that I can hold my own against most of the trolls we’re plagued with! But it really does warm the cockles of my heart to see a professional beat down!

paul courtney
Reply to  Abolition Man
May 11, 2021 8:28 am

Mr. Man: I also enjoy the site and the trolls, Mr. Hendon is determined to show his lameness sets him apart. He’s so keen to attack Worral, he assumes that Worral makes assumptions that Worral plainly does not make. Wonder who made the mistake of hiring Mr. Hendon (who probably posts on his employer’s time).

PaulH
May 10, 2021 4:25 pm

Well, they’ve created a task force, so we’re all good. /sarc

Drake
Reply to  PaulH
May 10, 2021 5:41 pm

Thank you for the link.

May 10, 2021 5:02 pm

I don’t think you’re being unfair at all. I have no doubt that myriads of mission critical infrastructure systems are connected the internet right now…it’s just too convenient. Same reason all the conservatives crying about internet censorship still have facebook and twitter accounts…but I digress.

I have no doubt at all that both the Russians and Chinese already have plans in place to shut us down catastrophically as one of their first acts if we get too froggy.

Our entrenched bureaucracy is way too concerned with using the correct pronouns and combating white supremacy to worry about such trivial matters as critical infrastructure security.

But, hey, at least we now have the first all gay naval helicopter crew on the job to protect us, so we’ve got that going for us.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sailorcurt
May 11, 2021 5:46 am

“I don’t think you’re being unfair at all. I have no doubt that myriads of mission critical infrastructure systems are connected the internet right now”

No doubt about it.

Sara
May 10, 2021 5:13 pm

I have a dream….. that one day, these spoilt children will wake up and find that their “dreams” of “no more carbon fuels” have come true (only where they are), it is mid-winter, there’s s frightful blizzard underway, and the electric power has gone out. There is no heat, because – wait for it – NO ELECTRICITY – because whatever supplies electric wattage has been buried up to its eyebrows in snow…. and the ecohippies and climate twits can’t call anyone for help because their iPhones can’t be charged… and there is no food because the roads are all clogged with snow, because the snowplowers are not allowed to burn diesel fuel in their truck engines, to do their job… and after about three weeks, maybe 2.5 weeks, the Frozen Self-Chozenz** realize that their infantile dreams of a single season per 12 month cycle is baloney… and they just wish they had some baloney and stale bread….

**No offense meant to the Frozen Chosen at the Chosin Reservoir. The conditions they faced were a nightmare. Temps dropped to -2F or below daytime. That’s only part of it.

rah
Reply to  Sara
May 11, 2021 3:51 am

As usual volumes have been written about the successful retrograde movement of Chesty Puller and his Marines and virtually nothing about Army units that successfully did nearly the exactly the same thing in the same conditions at the same time.

Sara
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 5:35 am

All we have to do is look up the real story. Found that a while back, w/old photos. The numbers were staggering.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  rah
May 11, 2021 5:47 am

The Marines get all the headlines! 🙂

DMacKenzie
May 10, 2021 5:29 pm

And in 2 days Michigan has ordered the shutdown of Line 5 which curtails propane supply to Michigan and other states….but it’s Spring.

Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 5:51 pm

Just an end of thread observational comment, mostly concerning a possible prospective draft guest post drafted yesterday evening, marinated today, maybe sent to Charles tomorrow— or not.
This cyberattacked pipeline comment thread actually contained three themes: what happened, its potential consequences, and how multi product pipelines function. All were easily internet searchable, yet most commentors did not. (Ready, fire, aim—oops.) I posted on all three after light fast research ( as is not a new topic for me), and on one of the three (the most easily researched, how do multiproduct large pipelines work) got attacked ‘by water separation’. That is ‘climate science’ in a nutshell. Assume the wrong answer, do no simple background checks, then vehemently assert the wrong answer publicly. Here, hounded into silence. But not generally the case.

Len Werner
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 10, 2021 7:31 pm

An excellent comment, Rud; you are an astute and thoughtful observer. As I commented above, there is another topic within the story for which some people again did not do simple internet research, and that was part of the original introduction–that of an emergency declaration–with a provided link. It was assumed by several people that this declaration referred to allowance of transport of fuel and oil products by road that was somehow not allowed in its absence.

Being a Class 1 driver as well as a geologist–I checked. The emergency declaration was nothing more than a simple relaxation of Parts 390-399 of the FMCSRs, which refer only to allowable driver hours-of-duty and some interstate trucking bureaucratic requirements again referring to the driver, not to any allowance (or not) of product transport.

But as you point out–no-one checked. With mild rebuke, it is indicated that not even Eric did. But people are busy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Len Werner
May 11, 2021 5:53 am

rah may have checked. He did a pretty good critique of the matter upthread.

rah
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 11, 2021 9:27 am

I didn’t to check Tom. It’s what I have to live with. Believe it or not at the company I drive for we have continuing education. Mandatory quarterly safety meetings where information on new laws and regulations governing trucking and truck driving is given and we have to take multiple choice quizes. Done online since COVID.

If a driver fails to watch the video and do the quizes they lose their safety bonus which for me amounts to the same as an extra weekly pay check every quarter.

You all should understand that over the years the federal noose on truckers and trucking companies has steadily tightened. This may be one reason why driver recruitment relatively to industry requirements is down.

The Nation Wide Program is known as CSA Compliance, Safety, Accountability (dot.gov) Understand that today we drivers are monitored at a very high level. I have both dash and driver cams as does every driver in our company which is a medium sized operation. The truck has sensors that report all kinds of information from braking force to G’s in cornering, to speed, to skids.

Currently our company has a very good CSA score and my personal score is in the excellent category but that could change any time. But having a good score means I am far less likely to be pulled in for inspection or even weighing and I love it as I go on by weigh stations/inspection stations while bunches of other trucks have to go in.

That being said the ratio of inexperienced drivers has been increasing and it is much better to weed as many of the dangerous suckers out before they hurt of kill someone.

In practice when there is an accident involving a big truck, the trucker is at fault until proven otherwise. This is justified by the fact we are considered “professional drivers” and I guess the rest of you out there are considered clueless amateur rubes.

The driver and dash cams have significantly decreased the findings of fault of truckers in accidents. Our system is constantly monitored by people looking at multiple screens. When the sensors in the truck transmit some movement outside of the judged safe parameters, like hard braking etc we pop up on a larger screen for the monitors. The video starting 10 seconds before the anomalous action(s)s is automatically transmitted to the monitoring company so nobody at the scene can tamper with the video. It has greatly decreased the payouts for damages and thus insurance rates.

Though I could be driving a new truck I have refused to change from the 2015 Freightliner Cascadia I am driving because my truck has none of proximity warning and lane departure BS on it that all of the newer trucks do. I don’t need a truck screaming at me.

I’ll be 66 y/o come August this year and intend to retire driving that same truck. Frankly I intend to drive until I’m 70 y/o or until I fail the physical or get tired of it. Which ever comes first.

BTW if a commercial driver is caught with a phone in their hand they can be fined up to $3,000 and their company can be fined up $13,000.

Last edited 1 month ago by rah
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Len Werner
May 11, 2021 9:14 am

Yes I didn’t believe for a second there was any prohibition of product transport, because such products are transported by trucks all the time.

B Clarke
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 11, 2021 3:26 am

Another point not discussed is the timing of the event, for maximum effect ,would not the perpetrators have pulled the plug in jan/ feb? As I posted earlier ITworkers are working from home, and have been all winter, if the route of the attack was through oil management accessing thier systems through the Internet then the perpetrators missed thier maximum window of causing panic and getting what they want in a hurry. The BBC justified the timing of the attack when people are just beginning to go out and about in thier cars , plausible, but it amounts to a inconvenience rather than the same attack a few months earlier which would of seen oil for heating and other essentials devastated. I don’t buy the BBC’s and FBI blame game.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  B Clarke
May 11, 2021 5:58 am

This sounds like some dumb a$$ clicked on the wrong link and it locked up his computer and everything connected to it and the virus program is now demanding money to free the harddrives.

The Hackers claim they are not political, they say they are only interrested in making money.

If they were smart, they would give the gas pipeline company control back over its computer for free. As a goodwill, non-partisan gesture. It would probably take a lot of heat off them.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 11, 2021 5:51 am

“and how multi product pipelines function”

That was very instructive to me, and much appreciated.

ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 6:25 pm

Don’t give it a permit to restart and do the decades long review process like California.

dk_
May 10, 2021 6:31 pm

Eric,
Didn’t catch this first time through, but
embarrassing for President Putin”
Not even in the slightest. Anyone who thinks he might be embarrassed by anything is still badly underestimating him, and underestimate the oligarchs who run that country/region with him.

dk_
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 11, 2021 2:48 am

You base this on the claim that the software is configured to ignore Russian language per the BBC? This is the same claim they made about the NHC ransomware.
I still don’t see where anyone said that the attack was unauthorized, they only said (in perfect Boris n Natasha accent, in a written text) that they were in it for profit. Again, per the BBC.
If they are Russians, they’re up for a medal. More likely BBC hasn’t a clue.

ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 6:31 pm

The Biden fleets will get first priority for the scarce fuel supplies.

ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 6:37 pm

Try stuffing it full of wood pellets. That will help it.

ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 6:40 pm

This would be a great time for a cyber grid attack.

rah
May 10, 2021 7:07 pm

A considerable number of people so distrust the FBI and Federal Government that they are seriously questioning the FBIs claim that it was an attack from the Russians. And who can blame them after years of Russia, Russia, Russia, Collusion, Collusion, Collusion, during the Trump Administration that turned out to be all lies originating from the US Intel community, backed by the FBI, and trumpeted day after day after day in the press? And to this day nobody has gone to jail for it while the DOJ just hired Susan Hennessey that was one of the major mouth pieces for the lies and on who’s word illegal FISA warrants were issued?

mcswelll
Reply to  rah
May 10, 2021 8:48 pm

A considerable number of people are idiots–in fact, the same number.

rah
Reply to  mcswelll
May 10, 2021 8:57 pm

So typical! Me I will wait for more facts to come into evidence before making a judgment because I am not stupid enough to trust this government to tell the truth about anything.

Derg
Reply to  mcswelll
May 11, 2021 2:16 am

Russia colluuuusion 😉

Is this similar to weapons of mass destruction?

rah
Reply to  Derg
May 11, 2021 4:08 am

Was the weapons of mass destruction lie aimed at unconstitutionally unseating a duly elected POTUS? Nope!
It did get us into an seemingly endless war but as I recall democrat after democrat bought into the WMD excuse also. One thing is for sure. There was more evidence to back the WMD claim. Sadam having used such against the Iranians and Kurds, than LBJs Gulf of Tonkin “incident” which he used to have an excuse to deploy US troops into direct combat in Vietnam for the first time.

paul courtney
Reply to  mcswelll
May 11, 2021 8:49 am

Mr. swelll: I am surprised to discover a person who trusts the FBI and feds. Didn’t Nancy P. tell you that they lie to congress all the time? When did she start trusting them again?

Art
May 10, 2021 7:09 pm

Emergency? What emergency? I thought climate change was the emergency, and the solution was to end fossil fuel use. Isn’t this what the global warmunists have been demanding?

Lefties hate oil….until they have none.

Smart Rock
May 10, 2021 8:04 pm

Wait till Ms. Whitmer (aka “Cuddles”) succeeds in closing down Enbridge Line 5. May 12th is the deadline she has set.

Of course, that only affects Canada, so it’s not really news.

The Canadian ambassador asked Sleepy Joe to intervene, and he said no.

Lots more oil-by-rail in the future. I’m glad I don’t live near the tracks.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Smart Rock
May 10, 2021 9:12 pm

It doesn’t only affect canada, it would shut down deliveries into Michigan as well

Doonman
May 10, 2021 8:07 pm

Don’t worry. Joe Biden just announced he will hold a press conference on the event and take questions from reporters.

Oh wait, no he didn’t.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Doonman
May 11, 2021 7:19 am

He lost his cue cards.

Pat from kerbob
May 10, 2021 8:10 pm

This Is a pipeline but the electric grid has the same issues.

The problem is the nature of the grid, how decentralized it is getting, all the intermittent renewables coming in and out, 10s of thousands of sources of fault current instead of hundreds, requiring very advanced equipment connected at very high speed, collecting and transmitting synchrophasors and other data

In the old days, protection was electromechanical relays (magnets) and communications was pilot wire or by imposing a signal on the electrical wire.

Very simple, unhackable, but completely unsuitable to what we are doing today.
The push to widely distributed renewables requires an interconnected grid in order to function, can’t have one without the other.

Hope they don’t shut it down in February

rwisrael
May 10, 2021 9:17 pm

Truly amazing that the major media and the US government are ignoring the most significant terrorist attack on the US since 911. Oh well , go back to sleep.

stinkerp
May 10, 2021 9:19 pm

Our goal is to make money

No, their goal is to steal money. Thievery is one of the most despicable endeavors. The unconscionable sociopathy of this form of subhuman protoplasm is impossible for normal people to comprehend. Hunt them down and eradicate the vermin.

dk_
Reply to  stinkerp
May 11, 2021 2:51 am

The only part missing from the BBC quote was “and must get Moose and Squirrel, darlink.”

beng135
Reply to  dk_
May 12, 2021 7:49 am

The attack has been determined to originate in Frostbite Falls, MN.

rah
May 10, 2021 9:37 pm

Shades of the days of Jimmy Carter! Gas lines, inflation, warnings that interest rates of going to spike up!

rah
May 10, 2021 10:36 pm

The Leftist Media.
Three months ago Joe Biden cancelled thousands of jobs and the Keystone Pipeline, and the New York Times cheered him on and said it was good policy…..Last week, someone shut down a pipeline for four days causing gas shortages – and the New York Times called it an attack.

Of course that point made by Tony Heller equally applies to all of the leftist media.
New York Times Definitions | Real Climate Science

Alex
May 10, 2021 10:56 pm
May 11, 2021 12:07 am

But, when Biden shut a pipeline down, it was celebrated by the Democrats and the media.

Peta of Newark
May 11, 2021 1:16 am

Was it Apple…
a) Quote:
It alleges:

  • Apple deliberately shuts out potential competition
  • it requires ordinary users to use Apple’s own payment-processing system
  • doing so generates “unlawfully excessive levels of profit”
  • the charges are “an unlawful raid on Apple’s customers’ purses

b) Or was it what Joe is effectively creating, in droves?
i.e. Disgruntled (ex)coal-miners who have ‘learned to code’

Makes perfect sense doncha think.
Is it possible, haha, that the Dark Side hackers have in fact, been hacked?
That is just soooo gorgeous 😀

Be careful what you (your ‘handlers’) wish for Mr Biden

EW, a friendly word in your ear:
Are you really sure you wanna be levelling charges of terrorism against Putin? I don’t read the BBC as saying as much, what’s your source?

There are some things that folks might ‘keep under their hats‘ until they are 1000% sure and are able to ‘do something about it
That is one of them.

If you or anyone becomes ‘terrified‘, off your own volition and just because your local petrol-pump runs dry or holiday flight is grounded, I’d suggest you have much greater problems than any amount of Climate Change or <insert pet boogeyman here>

No, that is not a personal dig or ad-hom.
Irrational fear & paranoia ### applies to almost all of Western Civilisation right now and even worse, thanks to things like the UK Gov’s very own Behavioural Insights Team, is being positively created by Government.
How wrong horrible hideous and grotesque could anything possibly be?

What is actually going on, apart from the obvious, good-intentions, selfishness & greed.
Why are the turkeys not only voting for Christmas but actually eating each other as they queue up at the processing plant.

### Examples:

  • Climate
  • Ozone
  • Saturated fat
  • Chinese politics & intentions
  • Salt
  • Diesel
  • PM2.5
  • Any number of substances, gases all of them and supposed to= Green House Gases
  • Ageing white males
  • Mr Trump

i.e. Irrational Fear is the endemic

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Mike Lowe
May 11, 2021 2:59 am

Great! Isn’t this about half of what some of us have advocated for years. Persuade the oil companies to cut off deliveries to somewhere like NY for just a few days, and they will realise that they cannot do without it. So if this was done by idiot Greenies – many thanks!

Earthling2
Reply to  Mike Lowe
May 11, 2021 1:34 pm

Probably you are right to some degree, but by whom and for what purpose? With Gretchen the wicked witch threatening to shut down Line 5 tomorrow, this was perfect timing to send a signal that losing a major pipeline has consequences. Would be something to see Line 5 shut tomorrow, May 12th deadline, and the Atlantic NE and much of mid eastern Canada will be in very serious trouble, especially combined with these huge Colonial temporary issues. Would be a real shot over the bow, especially if a Federal judge rules tomorrow in favour of a shut down, but highly unlikely. Line 5 is a Treaty between CAN/USA, so Michigan State has no real control of this specifically in the short term. It supplies a lot of product to both Michigan and eastern USA and/or Canada via Windsor/Detroit.

Problem is these days, you can’t really believe anything anymore, but if you read between the lines, sometimes you get a glimpse of what may be happening. The pipeline companies and oil patch are upset with the way they are being treated especially after the election. The Democrats would love to manufacture a ‘carbon’ crisis just for the sake of it. The Chinese (or NORKS doing the dirty work) would love to interfere and possibly blame the Russians to some degree, (maybe working with corrupt Democrat Intelligence) just to sow more chaos between USA and Russia and take pressure off China. The last person I would suspect under these circumstances, would be Putin. And nor would he allow such a lazy attempt, which will only result in more robust security. Better to leave it vulnerable in case you really need to disable things someday.

Peter C
May 11, 2021 3:27 am

“….. the software is set up to avoid infecting systems where the language setting is Russian.”

Well, to me, if true that strongly suggests the perpetrators and motives are closer to home and closer to government than people may think. Or perhaps a case of never letting an opportunity for a bit of geopolitical propaganda go to waste. Whatever, that phrase immediately pings my BS meter at around the 99% mark.

Joseph Zorzin
May 11, 2021 4:24 am

I should think that with a proper backup system, it should be easy to recover from a ransomware attack. Am I wrong on that? I use a backup system from a company called Macrium Reflect based on London. Its latest version protects against rasomware because it locks your backups so the attack can’t delete or alter them. I have several sets of backups using external drives- some are always NOT connected to my home network. And of course most corporate systems will have offsite backups.

JamesD
May 11, 2021 6:53 am

Some lessons learned:

  1. Air gap the control network from the internet. The connection is made to facilitate report generation and also to remote in to the booster stations for control maintenance. Have a dedicated network. You can still remote in from a central faciliity, but kiss auto generated reports good bye.
  2. Hire clerks to key in the data for your reports.
  3. Don’t use Windows for your SCADA level. Use something like Qnx or WindRiver, or at a minimum Linux.

Since it is ransomware, likely they encrypted the database files and templates for their Windows SCADA system. They will have to wipe the system and reinstall the files from back ups. Then function test.

Glen
Reply to  JamesD
May 11, 2021 12:50 pm

Nothing will be learned. Nothing.

sailor76
May 11, 2021 8:07 am

DHS is responsible for protecting the US infrastructure from foreign threats, but Mayorkas is too busy with building more tents on the Southern border to house ever more children that self separate from their parents due to Biden’s policies. Trump was slammed for breaking up families. At least under Biden they voluntarily do the breaking up, much more humane. Also Mayorkas is hunting White Supremacists. DHS just doesn’t have the time to what they were created for, protecting the Homeland. Too busy with the Woke agenda items.

Walter Sobchak
May 11, 2021 8:22 am

I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but the first thing we need to do to put a stop to this kind of hacking is to ban bitcoin and other anonymous cyber-currencies.

Such a ban would prevent banks and other regulated US financial institutions from exchanging dollars for cyber-currency. With no means for being paid. hackers would move on to something else.

sailor76
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 11, 2021 8:42 am

100 % agreed!

To be honest, I do not understand how these Cyber currencies were ever accepted by governments, they seem to me fake monopoly money, backed by nothing substantial. They are ideal for money laundering and mafia style organizations as well as rogue governments such as NK. now even the US and Visa want in on this? Does not make sense.

Glen
Reply to  sailor76
May 11, 2021 12:54 pm

Currency for us. Bitcoin for Oligarchs and bureaucrats.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 8:34 am

There’s a write-up of the Darkside group and their ransomware kit at the Sentinel One site here. There are variants for both Windows and Linux.

ResourceGuy
May 11, 2021 10:39 am

At least the dirty petrol products from Shell can’t make it to customers. Actually, I think they planned to close that decrepit refinery in Louisiana that no one wanted to buy from them.

ResourceGuy
May 11, 2021 10:40 am

Send off the White House thank you note to Putin.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 12:12 pm

In October 2016 there was a fire and explosion in this same Colonial pipeline at Helena, AL. The NTSB accident report is here. They found against the construction company performing scheduled work. The report was issued in 2019.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the explosion was the excavation crew’s inadequate planning, coordination, and communication during the excavation and failure to adhere to company policy requiring hand excavation if closer than 2 feet from the top or bottom of the pipeline until the pipeline has been exposed, which allowed the track-hoe to damage the pipeline.

For more details about this accident, visit http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/dms.html and search for NTSB accident identification number DCA17FP002.

That explosion followed an earlier leak in September which shut down the pipeline for a couple of weeks. According to AAA, that caused gas price spikes of $0.17/gal in Tennessee and $0.28/gal in Georgia. Presumably more further up the East Coast. I remember that; we just drove a bit less. That shutdown was during the winter heating season plus people were driving quite a bit more on a daily basis than they are now.

I haven’t seen anything that suggests this shutdown will last longer than the 2016 event, so I don’t expect it will have any greater price effect. Just more press coverage because cyber attacks are sexier than backhoe mishaps.

My normal driving is around 12,000-15,000 miles per year; in 2020 I didn’t even make it to 4,000, so a gas price spike of $0.28/gal wouldn’t be noticed.

jtom
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 4:48 pm

The difference this time is the publicity. Very long lines at gas stations where I am, just north of Atlanta, and some stations running out. Independent dealers have jacked-up their prices.

I’ve always used the skills learned in Boy Scouts, i.e., be prepared. I filled my cars up over the weekend when I heard of the problem. Today, I went shopping – food, medicines, pet supplies, toilet paper (of course). If the pipeline is down another couple of days, someone is going to start speculating about a diesel shortage disrupting the delivery of goods. Doesn’t matter at that point if it happens or not. The speculation, itself, will spook people to empty the stores. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to avoid problems.

If it happens, I’m good. If it doesn’t, I don’t need to do any shopping for a few weeks.

If you live in an affected area you might want to consider this possibility.

rah
May 11, 2021 12:16 pm

This is OT but I thought it worth mentioning.

My job is to be on call to take the loads that don’t get covered by other drivers or when drivers call off, or when the load planners or dispatch screws up, or when other drivers screw up or get sick on the road requiring a relay or trailer or truck recovery.

I get paid a salary to do this and am on call from 06:00 Sunday to 06:00 Friday and often work and get paid for extra time on Fridays and Saturdays.

This week I have not gone out. I was called to go out at 18:00 yesterday but then they canceled that call. This is very unusual.

Over 80% of our the companies business is for the auto industry. I am beginning to wonder if we are seeing the beginning of the effects of the microchip shortage.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 11, 2021 3:12 pm

The suggestion of Russian involvement appears to come from Dmitri Alperovitch, the chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator and former chief technology officer of the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike Holdings Inc, according to a Bloomberg article by Alzya Sebenius and Ryan Gallagher originally linked to by PaulH above.

Demitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike have been discussed in a number of Climate Audit posts by Steve McIntryre, and not in a complimentary way. See here, here, and here. And there are others as well; this one by Scott Ritter looks especially juicy. Alperovitch’s MO seems to be to grab headlines by claiming Russian Involvement in every cybersecurity event. These claims are widely reported by the press, who have done nothing credible to check the assertions, assuming they even have the in-house skills to do so.

By the time someone with McIntyre’s ability and persistence digs into the actual facts, it’s old news.

paul courtney
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 13, 2021 7:13 am

Mr. Watt: thank you for that reminder, I read those back then and realized what a truly bright guy McIntyre is. The moment this latest was attributed to “the Russians”, BS meter hit 11. And it’s only supposed to go to 10. I don’t know who did this, but I do know the press source doesn’t know, either.

May 11, 2021 5:16 pm

And the jerk Governor of one state is pushing to shut off a pipe;l ine supplying a key refinery in Ontario.

spock
May 12, 2021 1:44 am

This is no different then Uncle Joe cutting off oil drilling – heck, Uncle Joe should be cheering the hackers for “saving the planet.”

otropogo
May 12, 2021 9:47 pm

 “Even the most carefully isolated systems can be undone, if a careless employee or contractor connects their infected laptop to an internal network.”

If this is reality, forget about asteroids, CMEs, pandemics or even climate change -we’re doomed. If this is reality, then Parkinson was on the money saying our society promotes people to their level of incompetence.

If a private band of hackers can shut down the largest fuel pipeline in the USA, then what could hackers backed by the governments of China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea do?

But let’s not fail to at least consider an alternate reality – that this is just another step in the engineering of the new world order.

When Elon Musk had his ransomware attack some time back, it got me thinking about the problem of receiving funds untraceably, and concluded that if that were really possible, it would constitute a golden opportunity to cheat the tax man and the shareholders.

It’s claimed that if you’re smart enough, technically savvy enough, and careful enough, you can transfer and receive cybermoney without being identified. And if that’s the case, we hoi polloi can never hope to know the truth of who did what or why to the Colonial Pipeline. We can only hope it really was just a gang of Russian hackers acting on their own, a bit like the guys with the box cutters.

TonyG
Reply to  otropogo
May 13, 2021 8:07 am

“If a private band of hackers can shut down the largest fuel pipeline in the USA, then what could hackers backed by the governments of China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea do?”

I’m truly amazed something like this or bigger hasn’t already happened. I recall some years ago a report that taking down only 16 (iirc) electrical substations across the country simultaneously would collapse the entire grid. Given how easily accessed they are, I would have expected it to be done already.

Bill
May 13, 2021 7:56 pm

“As a software expert, my first thought is someone who allows the connection of mission critical control systems to the internet should probably consider a different career. But perhaps I am being unfair.”

I don’t think you are being unfair at all. The ignorance of science by the general public doesn’t come close to their ignorance of technology. And, I include in that ignorant set, many of the IT programmers themselves; who would have ever thought a programmer couldn’t program a text box to accept the multiple ways a date can be entered?

Think about it, then realize our entire society is at risk by these corporatists, government officials, and the rest of the technologically ignorant.