Cybersecurity experts say pipeline attack should be a ‘wake-up call’ for everyone

ATLANTA — Hackers are an enemy we can’t see coming until they’re here and cybersecurity experts are telling Channel 2 Action News that the attack on the Colonial Pipeline should be “a cyber wake-up call” for everyone.

While finding gas can be a difficult task as more and more stations run out of fuel, experts say it is still an easier task than getting the Colonial Pipeline back up and running.

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Channel 2′s Matt Johnson spoke with cybersecurity experts to determine how Colonial was targeted and find out what else we rely on that could be next.

“Let this be a warning shot. Because next time, it could be a bunch of ventilators at a hospital, it could be traffic lights, it could be a banking system, it could be anything,” said Rafal Los, Vice President and Chief Security Strategist at Lightstream.

Colonial Pipeline will have to repair its systems before bringing the pipeline back online, a task they hope to have done by the end of the week.

A Russian hacker group called Darkside has claimed responsibility.


Brandon McCrillis is the CEO of Rendition Infosec in Augusta and says he has helped clients respond to Darkside attacks before. He says their hackers are looking for ways to access entire systems through software that lets employees work from home remotely.

“You just guess it over and over and over again, and sometimes you win on an account,” said McCrillis.

McCrillis says this particular hacker group is typically only after money and are sophisticated in getting that money out of companies.

“We find that Darkside is already inside the network. They already know where your critical data is, they’ve already stolen data that they want to extort you with later,” said McCrillis.

“Human beings are our number one vulnerability, our number one weakness in cybersecurity,” said Los.