Malware Monday – Cyber Attack Cuts Off 45% Of East Cost Fuel

Uh oh.  

Colonial Pipeline, whose system transports fuel across the East Coast said Saturday that it had been victimized by a ransomware attack and that it had halted all pipeline operations to deal with the threat. Colonial did not say what was demanded or by whom, but ransomware attacks are typically carried out by criminal hackers who seize data and demand a large payment in order to release it.

This presents a new challenge for an administration still grappling with its response to major hacks from months ago, including a massive breach of government agencies and corporations for which the U.S. sanctioned Russia last month.  While there have long been fears about U.S. adversaries disrupting American energy suppliers, ransomware attacks by criminal syndicates are much more common and have been soaring lately.

Cybersecurity is going to become a much bigger long-term cost for businesses. Just like Rent-A-Rebel is often used to jack up oil prices by bombing a pipeline or pirating an oil tanker – hackers are now added to the arsenal of market manipulators, who can knock entire companies off-line for days. Brian Bethune, a professor of applied economics at Boston College, also said the impact on consumer prices should be short-lived as long as the shutdown does not last for more than a week or two. “But it is an indication of how vulnerable our infrastructure is to these kinds of cyberattacks,” he said.

Speaking of market manipulation, Elon Musk was on Saturday Night Live this weekend and people were betting he was going to promote Dogecoin and the price of the "coins" went flying higher in anticipation of the event but Musk is always one step ahead and there was more money to be made shorting so instead he took the opportunity on several occasions during the show to poke fun at Dogecoin, pointing out that it started as a joke and going as far as to call the whole thing "a hustle":

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