Cyber criminals have breached Energy Transfer's Panhandle Eastern pipeline system in the United States, causing to shut down until further notice.
The Panhandle natural gas pipeline network, a comprehensive array of transportation and storage facilities, includes four large-diameter pipelines stretching from the Anadarko basin of Texas and Oklahoma into several other midwestern states. The Trunkline system, which extends from the Gulf Coast into the Southeast and Midwest, and the Sea Robin system in the Gulf of Mexico are also part of the Panhandle network.
The attack was limited to the electronic data interchange system that facilitates transactions over oil and gas moving through its pipelines and was directed at the contractor that manages the system, Latitude Technology, according to the company. Up to now the authorities have little information on the provocateurs, although U.S. federal agencies suspect Russian hackers, with the backing of their government, have been targeting U.S. energy infrastructure.
Indeed, over the past few years, the U.S. energy industry and other companies that operate so-called critical infrastructure such as chemical and manufacturing plants have seen a significant increase in cyberattacks targeting individuals with access to control systems that operate facilities, federal agencies and cybersecurity experts say.