Four Gas Pipeline Data Systems Shut Down as Cyberattack Hits

Credit: Bloomberg.
A complex system of pipelines carries natural gas throughout and across the continent for import and export for millions of people daily.

At least four US pipeline companies have seen their electronic systems for communicating with customers shut down over the last few days, with three confirming it resulted from a cyberattack.

On 3 April, Oneok, which operates natural gas pipelines in the Permian Basin in Texas and the Rocky Mountains region, said it disabled its system as a precaution after determining that a third-party provider was the “target of an apparent cyberattack."

A day earlier, Energy Transfer Partners, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, and Chesapeake Utilities’s Eastern Shore Natural Gas reported breakdowns, with Eastern Shore saying its closure occurred on 29 March. The Department of Homeland Security, which said on 2 April that it was gathering information about the attacks, had no immediate comment on 3 April.

“We do not believe any customer data was compromised,” said the Latitude Technologies unit of Energy Services Group, which Energy Transfer and Eastern Shore both identified as their third-party provider. “We are investigating the re-establishment of this data,” Latitude said in a message to customers.

The attacks follow a US government warning in March that Russian hackers are conducting an assault on the US electric grid and other targets. In March, Atlanta’s government was hobbled by a ransomware attack.

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