“This is possibly the largest ransomware attack ever to hit any of our critical infrastructure, a very significant attack,” Katko said. “We have to understand that while this was not an attack on the operation of a pipeline, it was an attack on the business entity connected to the pipeline. “
The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack crippled gas distribution systems in the southeastern states. Nearly 70% of gas stations in North Carolina are still empty, and about half are dry in Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina, according to GasBuddy.com. Colonial resumed operations on Wednesday afternoon, but said the delivery schedule would not return to normal for several days.
Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom of $ 5 million to the hackers. Katko told CNBC “The News with Shepard Smith” that he “doesn’t think it’s a good move” for companies to pay the ransom, but if they do, it’s critical to follow the trail of the ransom. ‘silver.
“They’re almost evenly paid in cryptocurrency, with these ransomware attacks, and we need to find a better way to find a money trail to where people are getting the cryptocurrency from because that would help a lot. Katko explained.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order imposing significant changes to the government’s cybersecurity standards, aimed at strengthening the country’s cyber defenses in critical sectors of the economy.
The congressman added that there was still a long way to go to better secure America’s critical infrastructure.
“We have electricity grids in this country. We have water systems. We have pipelines. We have a lot of critical infrastructures that are really open to some of these ransomware attacks, ”Katko said.