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‘Arm Waving’ Response to Hackers Makes Oil Industry Easy Prey

  • Cybersecurity spending in sector lags electric, banks and tech
  • Industry ‘struggling with self motivation’ to defend itself
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WATCH: DarkSide, the ransomware group connected to the Colonial Pipeline Co. cyberattack, evolved a set of hacking tools and related services that allows it to provide services to others in the world of cybercrime. (Source: Bloomberg)

A few years back, a private equity firm hired the cybersecurity company Mission Secure Inc. to inspect its oil and gas operations in West Texas to make sure they were secure.

Everyone from the facility managers to the private equity owners assumed that the plant’s computer network was “air-gapped” -- a term referring to computers that aren’t connected to the internet or another unsecured network. But when Mission Secure installed monitoring devices to check, they discovered that a worker on the night shift was connecting his Roku device to the internet to watch episodes of “CSI: Miami.”