Michael Rodgers, director of U.S. Cyber Command, says it is only a matter of when we are going to see something dramatic in a cyber attack on the country’s critical infrastructure.
One big concern is that most of the pipelines are operated by private companies, which could limit the government’s visibility into their operations. McCreary, who is now chief of disruptive technology programs at Georgia Tech Research Institute, said “there’s a lot of value to being able to execute remote operations on digital systems, and there are tough choices to balancing private business costs and efficiencies versus national security dependencies on privately owned infrastructure.”
Pipeline operators take cybersecurity “very seriously” and keep operations communications separated from business and outside communications, said John Stoody, vice president of government and public relations for the Association of Oil Pipe Lines. He said the owners and operators of America’s liquid pipelines, which his group represents, participates in the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration’s security efforts.
“While we are unaware of any successful cyberattacks on U.S. liquids pipelines, we will remain vigilant against any such threats,” Stoody said in an e-mail.
Continued vigilance is warranted, given the view that what happened in Turkey will happen in the U.S. Last month, Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, told the House Intelligence Committee that “it is only a matter of the ‘when,’ not the ‘if,’ that we are going to see something dramatic” in a cyberattack on the country’s critical infrastructure.