Cyber ​​attack on tank farms in Germany

top cybersecurity companies

The Hamburg tank logistics company Oiltanking GmbH has become the victim of a cyber attack. Security experts respond to the incident.

According to the Handelsblatt, a hacker attack has paralyzed large tank farms in Germany. The company concerned, Oiltanking GmbH, wrote: “We are working to solve the problem according to our contingency plans.”

Torsten George from the IT security provider Absolute Software explains: “Oiltanking and Mabanaft may not be well-known brands, but their services are used by many leading companies such as Shell, making them an ideal target for criminals looking to expand their reach and increase their leverage in potentially demanding a ransom. As organizations improved their defenses against direct network attacks, hackers shifted their focus to the weakest link, exploiting the supply chain to either backdoor into IT systems, spread malware, or simply disrupt the supply chain itself to cause. According to the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Cyber ​​Report 2021, attacks on the supply chain are expected to be one of the biggest threats to companies in the future. To minimize the risk of falling victim to this type of attack, industry experts recommend adopting basic cyber hygiene best practices. Organizations should train employees on security issues, strengthen multi-factor authentication, install patches frequently, and harden their environment. The latter is especially true for the endpoints, which are often used as a starting point for these attacks.”

Guido Grillenmeier, Chief Technologist at the IT security expert SEMPERIS explains: “The cyber attack on the tank logistics company Oiltanking is reminiscent of the Colonial Pipeline debacle from last year – specifically in May 2021 – which endangered the fuel supply on the east coast of the USA. While the fuel supply in Germany seems to be secured by a network of several tank farm providers, the attack is a clear warning shot for every single tank logistician and many other companies: the only question must not be how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber attack . Instead, the contingency plans must assume that it will eventually happen! And so the focus is on the quick and uncomplicated recovery of my IT infrastructure, on which all business processes are now dependent. In this context, the good old days often work Microsoft Active Directory (AD) as the Achilles’ heel for the IT team, since almost all other systems in the company depend on AD availability. At the same time, the malware-free restoration of the AD is a complicated undertaking that – without suitable automation – takes several days. Far too many companies are not even aware of the challenge and only realize it too late.”

Andreas Riepen from the IT security company Vectra AI adds: “The disruption to elements of the fuel supply chain during the winter season potentially threatens human safety and well-being. This type of attack underscores the very serious risks that criminals pose to vital parts of vital services and infrastructure. We sincerely hope that there will be minimal disruption. At the same time, we hope organizations invest in the resilience needed to be resilient to and recover from such threats quickly.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.