Cyber Risk Management Advisory: Analysis and Recommendations Following the Colonial Pipeline Shutdown
About the Attacker, DarkSide
All information is nonexclusive, as specific details about DarkSide, the attacker, are still under investigation.
- The FBI has been investigating DarkSide since October 2020.
- DarkSide has previously targeted a variety of industries, including manufacturing, energy and insurance.
- In a previous statement, DarkSide said, "Our goal is to make money, and not create problems for society."
- DarkSide develops ransomware as a service (RaaS) and sells its ability to create ransomware or conduct ransomware attacks to whoever is willing to pay.
- DarkSide employs "Double Extortion" and will both exfiltrate data and threaten to release it or deploy software that will encrypt data, making it unusable.
- DarkSide typically uses cryptocurrency to collect ransoms, with a preference toward Monero.
Mitigation for Your Organization
The cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline emphasizes the need for visibility and control. Knowing how to manage your organization’s unique cyber risk requires expertise in industrial cybersecurity and in-depth knowledge of how your operational networks and systems work. CISA and the FBI recommend several mitigation strategies, including:
- Boundary Protections - Manage what goes in and out of IT and OT networks.
- Access Control - Limit/control the movement within IT and OT networks.
- Segmentation - Manage the people and devices that can access networks.
- Monitoring - Detect and confirm potential intrusions.
- Policy Management - Customize policies based on network needs.
- Asset Management - Inventory and management of critical cyber assets.
- Backup Management - Confirm up-to-date copies of network data.
- Configuration Management - Detect changes made to industrial control devices, including Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and log information through Management of Change (MOC) documentation.
Knowing how to manage your organization's unique cyber risk requires expertise in industrial cybersecurity and in-depth knowledge of how your operational networks and systems work.
It is crucial to have a strong cyber program that defends industrial operations against cyber attacks and monitors assets at all times. ABS Group provides one of the markets' only 24/7/365 Remote Monitoring and Managed Services specifically designed to protect OT Networks. We are OEM agnostic, OT-specialized and price competitive, with one solution that covers the entire digital ecosystem.
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About ABS Group
ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (www.abs-group.com), through its operating subsidiaries, provides technical advisory and certification services to support the safety and reliability of high-performance assets and operations in the oil, gas and chemical, power generation, marine, offshore and government sectors, among others. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ABS Group operates with more than 1,000 professionals globally. ABS Group is a subsidiary of ABS (www.eagle.org), a leading marine and offshore classification society.