US Department of Homeland Alert: US Gas Pipeline Operator Hit By Spearphish/Ransomware

Was this Ekans Ransomware? Not known yet. OT networks were partially impacted. The pipeline is said to be operational again following a controlled shutdown. Certainly a signal for all OT operations to stay very alert and think before you click.

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Alert (AA20-049A)

Ransomware Impacting Pipeline Operations

Original release date: February 18, 2020
Summary
A cyber threat actor used a Spearphishing Link [T1192] to obtain initial access to the organization’s information technology (IT) network before pivoting to its OT network. The threat actor then deployed commodity ransomware to Encrypt Data for Impact [T1486] on both networks. Specific assets experiencing a Loss of Availability [T826] on the OT network included human machine interfaces (HMIs), data historians, and polling servers. Impacted assets were no longer able to read and aggregate real-time operational data reported from low-level OT devices, resulting in a partial Loss of View [T829] for human operators. The attack did not impact any programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and at no point did the victim lose control of operations. Although the victim’s emergency response plan did not specifically consider cyberattacks, the decision was made to implement a deliberate and controlled shutdown to operations. This lasted approximately two days, resulting in a Loss of Productivity and Revenue [T828], after which normal operations resumed. CISA is providing this Alert to help administrators and network defenders protect their organizations against this and similar ransomware attacks.
https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-049a


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