Recent press reports indicate that a cyber-attack disabled the third-party platform used by an oil and gas pipeline company to exchange documents with customers. Effects from the attack were largely confined because no other systems were impacted, including industrial controls for critical infrastructure. The attack comes on the heels of an FBI and Department of Homeland Security alert warning of Russian attempts to target industrial control systems, as well as an indictment against Iranian nationals for attacking private, education, and government intuitions, including FERC. These incidents are raising questions about cybersecurity across the US pipeline network.
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On June 22, 2011, the House Homeland Security Committee is expected to conduct a mark-up of HR 901, the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Security (CFATS) Authorization Act of 2011. HR 901 would reauthorize the CFATS program through FY 2018 without burdensome mandates of so-called “inherently safer technology” (IST).