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Critical Infrastructure News

Since Jan. 19, 2020, the FBI in Washington has been investigating at least 41 incidents of eco-sabotage, specifically direct action against railways and rail lines connected to oil production.

In one instance on Dec. 22, a train got derailed and caught on fire in Custer, Washington, near the Canadian border and about an hour or so away from Seattle, as The Guardian reported. 

This was regarded as the most serious eco-sabotage incident in recent memory as the damage resulted in 29,000 gallons of crude oil being spilled and the evacuation of 120 people nearby, NTSB reported.

During that time, about a dozen eco-sabotage incidents took place.

Read more: The Hill

Critical pipeline operators have reported more than 220 cybersecurity incidents since the Transportation Security Administration implemented emergency measures in the wake of the crippling ransomware attack on one of America's most important pipelines, according to TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

Companies have been reporting incidents since day one of the agency's May 28 security directive aimed at critical pipelines, Pekoske told CNN in an interview. Reporting of cybersecurity incidents has ramped up since the directive, according to Pekoske, who said the reports will help TSA understand the risks facing the industry. Prior to the directive, reporting was voluntary.

TSA issued its first cybersecurity directive following the ransomware incident at Colonial Pipeline, which prompted the shutdown of operations and led to several days of panic gasoline buying and shortages throughout the East Coast.

The directive includes a requirement for around 100 critical pipeline companies to report cybersecurity incidents to the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency within 12 hours, a DHS official previously said. TSA has unique authority over the surface transportation industry, which includes more than 2.7 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, allowing the agency to regulate the industry.

Read more: CNN

In response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to pipeline systems, DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the issuance of a second Security Directive that requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to implement a number of urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions. 

“The lives and livelihoods of the American people depend on our collective ability to protect our Nation’s critical infrastructure from evolving threats,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  “Through this Security Directive, DHS can better ensure the pipeline sector takes the steps necessary to safeguard their operations from rising cyber threats, and better protect our national and economic security. Public-private partnerships are critical to the security of every community across our country and DHS will continue working closely with our private sector partners to support their operations and increase their cybersecurity resilience.”

Read more: HS Today

The Department of Homeland Security is moving to regulate cybersecurity in the pipeline industry for the first time in an effort to prevent a repeat of a major computer attack that crippled nearly half the East Coast’s fuel supply this month — an incident that highlighted the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to online attacks.

The Transportation Security Administration, a DHS unit, will issue a security directive this week requiring pipeline companies to report cyber incidents to federal authorities, senior DHS officials said. It will follow up in coming weeks with a more robust set of mandatory rules for how pipeline companies must safeguard their systems against cyberattacks and the steps they should take if they are hacked, the officials said. The agency has offered only voluntary guidelines in the past.

Read more: The Washington Post

A ransomware attack led one of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline operators to shut down its entire network on Friday, according to the company and two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

While it is not expected to have an immediate impact on fuel supply or prices, the attack on Colonial Pipeline, which carries almost half of the gasoline, diesel and other fuels used on the East Coast, underscores the potential vulnerability of industrial sectors to the expanding threat of ransomware strikes.

It appears to have been carried out by an Eastern European-based criminal gang — DarkSide, according to a U.S. official and another person familiar with the matter.

Read more: The Washington Post