U. S. Alerts Gas Industry about Increasing Cyberattacks

Gas Pipline

Credit: Glen Dillon / CC BY 2.0

U.S. is very concern about gas pipeline companies as they are being targeted with sophisticated phishing attacks since last December. The information came in light after the Department of Homeland Security dealt with plenty of incidents since March.

DHS spokesman, Peter Boogaard said: “DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team has been working since March 2012 with critical infrastructure owners and operators in the oil and natural gas sector to address a series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline companies.”

The cyber intrusion is related to sophisticated spear-phishing activities that target personnel within the private companies. To minimise such a crime, DHS has joined hands with the FBI and other federal agencies. The ICS-CERT is coordinating with renowned organisations that can prepare mitigation plans customised to their current network and security configurations to detect, mitigate and prevent such threats.

To wipe up cyber intrusion, the agency is privately meeting with companies as well trying to uproot the reason behind it. Late last week, it also issued the first public advisory, which was released by the Christian Science Monitor. Despite anticipatory majors, it is unclear ‘who is behind the attacks?’ The agency is trying to figure out reasons for pilfering of data or other negative consequences.

Jesse Hurley, chairman of the critical infrastructure committee at the North American Energy Standards Board and CEO of Shift Systems, said: “Most natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. is experiencing this type of attack.”

Because of increasing incidence, the Department of Homeland Security is requesting the entire industry to act as an intelligence source. It has asked the companies to leave the malware intact so that the agency can understand what it does to the network.

Image Credit: Creative Commons/Glen Dillon

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