THE ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL-ATTIYAH INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
FOR ENERGY & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Cyberattack: The Colonial Pipeline

Cyberattack: The Colonial Pipeline

Doha, May 2021

 

Cyberattack: The Colonial Pipeline

 

In this special report, the Al-Attiyah Foundation investigates the events, effects, and implications of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack in the United States.

Summary:

  • The Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined oil products system in the US, supplying 45% of east coast fuel, was shut down between 7-12th May by a cyberattack for ransom.
  • Operations are now being restored, but there has been a brief spike in gasoline prices, and petrol stations in many east coast states have run out of fuel.
  • While cyberattacks on the energy industry have become increasingly common, this recent attack on the Colonial Pipeline is the most high-profile incident in the US, to date.
  • These cyberattacks may be for criminal (profit), espionage, or sabotage (politically-motivated reasons), which can be related to various international disputes involving the US, Russia, Iran, and other countries.
  • The energy industry needs urgent steps and better security measures to limit its vulnerability to cyberattacks.
  • However, no security can defeat a sufficiently capable and well-resourced attacker. Therefore, the energy system should, in general, be made more resilient, in order to help protect against cyberattacks and other threats.

Download the full report here: Download Link