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EPA to end week-long suspension of emissions regulations after pipeline hack


EPA to end week-long suspension of emissions regulations after pipeline hack

Photo: Ted Schaffrey/AP

An EPA suspension on clean air rules in select states, introduced to ease supply issues after a ransomware attack affected a major pipeline, will lapse today.

Colonial Pipeline paid nearly five million dollars after hacker group DarkSide used ransomware to hold systems hostage. Colonial preemptively suspended pipeline service, which delivers nearly half of all transport fuels for the East Coast. Due to the public disruption, US President Joe Biden and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab separately called on Russia, where DarkSide is suspected to be based, and countries home to similar groups to take action against ransomware networks operating within their borders.

DarkSide’s attack exposes that energy security now extends beyond energy independence: a ransomware attack can wreak as much havoc as an OPEC embargo. The transition to renewable energy requires increasingly integrated energy infrastructure, and countries must take greater care to protect their networks. President Biden’s creation of a DOJ task force to tackle rising ransomware cyberattacks is a start but targets the symptom rather than the cause, leaving the US open to further cyberattacks. An executive order demanding agencies work more closely with the private sector to improve cybersecurity may hint at an eventually more coordinated global effort.

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