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Pipeline hack fuels gas crunch; U.S. suspects Russian origins

17 Comments
By TOM FOREMAN JR., JEFF MARTIN and BEN FINLEY

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17 Comments

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How much did this cost? It was all entirely preventable.

Trusting layers of protection is not a good solution - it just wires you into an arms race with hackers. It is wiser to design out the problem.

The easy way is to never connect critical infrastructure to the internet. You air gap such systems with people. An internet-facing system and an intranet-facing system. It's easy, it's cheap and it works. So why, after decades of hacks and threats, is this still happening?

For a systemic solution against the hacking of personal data caches, stop creating honeypots of valuable information. Hackers target systems that contain lots of user data. The solution is to distribute that data. Instead of having all of your user data on an internet-connected system, physically port any historical data you must retain on to offline storage and flush it from your online system. And distribute the way you handle data. By which I don't mean cloud storage, which I consider to be less secure than distributed systems.

User data can be stored on users' own devices in an encrypted wallet. Your server will interact with this as required but then flush data, so there is not a heap of data on your system for hackers to extract. It no longer becomes worthwhile for them to devote their time to hacking your system.

Hackers are evolving but GAFA has not. Their services are looking increasingly rudimentary as their innovation declines and their staff age. They disrupted, but they are not now persistently disrupting their own models and have not yet been disrupted. GAFA's successors/replacements will do that. Distributed search offers crowd-sourced, live and persistent search options. Distributed social media removes the pressure on tech companies to censor. The tech industry needs to move on from the data acquisition model. There are better ways to direct advertising whilst respecting privacy and increasing security. And you don't end up with a load of data on a server that attracts hackers.

Autonomous vehicles will need distributed systems to function safely. We can even use distributed routing to offer VPN as standard for free. The nature of distributed computing prevents countries like China from doing it. My guess would be India, as they have a huge skills base, plenty of VC and a vast user base.

The problem of ransomware can be designed out with distributed topologies, and the first to code them and fund them will replace GAFA. Internet development has stalled. Anyone wishing to bounce back after Covid can be the place where the next generation of internet technologies are developed. And they can all operate happily on the infrastructure and devices that we already have.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm so friggin' happy I stopped driving and switched to public transportation.

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It really is an act of war, either by a state or a cyber-terror organization. Trump would probably have told the terrorists to release their blocks or get ready to die.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One wonders how the Russians would feel if a “private” organization shut down a Russian commercial reactor in February.....

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Now the headline “suspects” it’s a Russian hack. It’s Russian hack because “that’s where it came from”?

We do have strong reason to believe that the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia. That’s where it came from.”

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Blacklabel

Oh come on!

The title doesn’t say it was a Russian “hack”, it says suspected Russian “origin”. And yes “origin”, by definition, means “that’s where it came from”. It also says the government doesn’t think the Russian government was involved. Either you didn’t read the article or your purposely trying to twist things...

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Now the headline “suspects” it’s a Russian hack. It’s Russian hack because “that’s where it came from”?

Ah, so now the right is against calling things based on where they originate? Odd.

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Blacklabel: Now the headline “suspects” it’s a Russian hack.

Well, from, the article: "President Joe Biden said Thursday that U.S. officials do not believe the Russian government was involved in the hack of the Colonial Pipeline, which stretches from Texas to New Jersey. But he added, “We do have strong reason to believe that the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia. That’s where it came from.”

My guess is that's why they chose the headline they did.

It’s Russian hack because “that’s where it came from”?

It's a suspected Russian hack because, according to intelligence agencies, the hack originated from Russia. It could be bad actors using the cover of Russia, but that information isn't known yet. If it had originated from China my guess is that they'd suspect it was a hack by Chinese actors. I don't think it's some trick the US government is using to try to fool you since it's rooted in logic.

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Now the headline “suspects” it’s a Russian hack. It’s Russian hack because “that’s where it came from”?

Another day and another post from a Trump supporter defending Russia....

It's clear that they admire Putin - and all the mischief he does to destabilize the West...

Expect them to continue to further Russian interests by playing Russia's game - attack the US in the info and cyber domains, then use disinformation to place the blame on the Biden administration...

All with the goal of getting their easily controlled puppet Trump back in the WH....

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Here we go, it's like back in 1976 with the gas shortages along the East Coast and Biden has just dug a bigger hole for himself politically, maybe he'll ask us all to put on a sweater or just wear a T-shirt and conserve energy and turn off the A/C. The guy allows us to be cyber hacked. My God 2022 can't come soon enough, those 5 Hosue seats will probably double, good times ahead for the GOP.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The fault lies with the pipeline owner for not securing their computer systems and not employing enough technical staff to protect the systems.

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@Bass

Here we go, it's like back in 1976 with the gas shortages along the East Coast and Biden has just dug a bigger hole for himself politically

I’m not sure how this is like the oil/gas shortages of the 70’s, but OK...

Oh, and speaking of those year’s wasn’t that during the time Republicans had Nixon and Ford running thing? Good thing that a Democrat took over in 1977 and got things back on track, at least as far as the gas shortages.

Still don’t see how this relates to Biden though as the causes, and solutions, were entirely different.

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The guy allows us to be cyber hacked. 

Hmmmmm.....

*In early 2020, hackers secretly broke into Texas-based SolarWind's systems and added malicious code into the company's software system. SolarWinds, a major US information technology firm, was the subject of a cyberattack that spread to its clients and went undetected for months, Reuters first reported in December. Foreign hackers, who some top US officials believe are from Russia, were able to use the hack to spy on private companies like the elite cybersecurity firm FireEye and the upper echelons of the US Government, including the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department.  *SolarWinds hack was 'largest and most sophisticated attack ever.

https://www.businessinsider.com/solarwinds-hack-explained-government-agencies-cyber-security-2020-12

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Now the headline “suspects” it’s a Russian hack. It’s Russian hack because “that’s where it came from”?

You have to be joking.

The group responsible admitted they did it. They are in Russia. They may not have been told by Putin to do it, but all the information stolen was handed over to the Russian military.

This is just a guess, but a wouldn't be surprised if Putin gets a "cut" of the data ransom, which won't be paid.

Earlier today, I saw a job opening for the company seeking a Security Manager. In the security groups, there were a few jokes about that posting. I posted the link in another story here, for the curious.

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The fault lies with the pipeline owner for not securing their computer systems and not employing enough technical staff to protect the systems.

Ok, duly noted and why hasn't Biden and his admin done more to stamp out and stop the growing cyber-attacks on the nation?

I’m not sure how this is like the oil/gas shortages of the 70’s, but OK...

I lived it, it started off the same like this, but at least Biden isn't wearing a stupid sweater and telling us to conserve energy.

Oh, and speaking of those year’s wasn’t that during the time Republicans had Nixon and Ford running thing?

Carter was President, nice try.

Good thing that a Democrat took over in 1977 and got things back on track, at least as far as the gas shortages.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/05/13/gas-shortages-1970s/

Yeah, and his weakness got our embassy overrun by the Iranians and the staff was taken hostage and he did nothing until 1980 when a Republican came into office and then they quickly released them.

Still don’t see how this relates to Biden though as the causes, and solutions, were entirely different.

A lot and first of all, what has he done about the Cyber-threats? What aggressive action has he taken?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

bass: Ok, duly noted and why hasn't Biden and his admin done more to stamp out and stop the growing cyber-attacks on the nation?

Because Biden doesn't step in to private businesses and check their security situation. If you want the gubment to do that, just say so.

And have you forgotten about the massive government hack that Pompeo blamed on the Russians during Trump's term? That was a government to government hack. Trump threw his own appointee and intelligence agencies under the bus and said "maybe it was China" with no evidence.

Did you speak out against Trump when that happened?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh, and speaking of those year’s wasn’t that during the time Republicans had Nixon and Ford running thing? 

Carter was President, nice try.

Sorry, I lived too and it started with the oil embargos around 72/73 when Nixon was president and continued through the successive Ford administration. Carter became president in 1977.

Nice try though...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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