20 May 2021

Remember that ransomware hack of the fuel pipeline last week?

I thought (and you probably thought) that the hack interfered with the pumps delivering fuel through the pipeline.

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.

The pipeline was fine.  The flow of gas was not impaired.  What was hacked was the company's billing system, as explained at Jalopnik:
The cyber attack that shutdown the Colonial pipeline causing a gas panic and stoking fears of gasoline shortages, didn’t actually shut down the pipeline. It impacted the billing system at the Colonial Pipeline Co., which shut it down because they were worried about how they’d collect payments.

Yes, the fuel-carrying pipeline was shut down last week in order to prevent a company that is entrusted with what should be a public utility from enduring an accounting headache...

The company halted operations because its billing system was compromised, three people briefed on the matter told CNN, and they were concerned they wouldn’t be able to figure out how much to bill customers for fuel they received.
More at the link.


  1. what should be a public utility

    But it isn't, so they acted accordingly.

  2. interesting post. I would be interested in sharing it with others, but there are two prominent spelling errors in the text. these seem rather unusual for your blog, misspelling Ransomware in the headline would make me hesitant to trust the info. then a source is incorrectly named- should be Jalopnik. these sorts of failures are the hints of fraudulence I look for in phishing emails.

    1. Typos fixed; thank you for pointing them out to me.

      No need to share this post with anyone. I prefer not to have lots of visitors to TYWKIWDBI. Better to share the primary sources.

  3. Interesting. And Colonial Pipeline is privately held - not publicly traded. Koch is a major owner.

  4. My parents live in Greensboro, NC and my wife and I own an AirBnB in nearby Winston-Salem. In the 80s, I grew up around the oil tanks in the Greensboro area, and my dad often pointed out when passing them that Russia would target us because of those tanks and how much damage it would do. At the time, I thought it was the combustion issue, but my dad likely was referring to how it would bring the US to its knees.

    I had not realized to what degree the pipeline hack was until I saw the funny memes of people hoarding gas into plastic containers. I called me dad and asked, “What is going on with the Pipeline thing?”

    His first response without hesitation was: “Biden is destroying America.”

    “He is?” I asked.

    Second response: “Trump wants to know if you miss him yet.”

    “No,” I said.

    He continued to paint a picture of destruction. He was befuddled that strong America would be prone to ransomeware weaknesses. I mean, come on. We’re the strongest country on earth!

    So when I found that the pipeline was privately held (like your other reader) I messaged him the info, I got no response. Then I wrote: maybe lay off the news a bit. Crickets. 🤷🏽‍♂️


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