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Several European Oil Plants Hit by Cyber-Attacks

Several European Oil Plants Hit by Cyber-Attacks
Source: Euractiv

Cyber-attacks have hit a number of oil transport and storage businesses across Europe.

Oiltanking in Germany, SEA-Invest in Belgium, and Evos in the Netherlands all had their IT systems affected.

Hundreds of oil storage and transportation ports throughout the world have been impacted, with companies saying that the strikes happened over the weekend.

Experts warn against making the assumption that this is a coordinated attack.

According to the BBC, all three organizations’ IT systems were offline or seriously impacted.

Belgian authorities said they’re looking into a cyber-attack that hit SEA-Invest terminals, including the company’s largest, the SEA-Tank, in Antwerp.

According to a corporate representative, the corporation was targeted on Sunday, with every port they operate in Europe and Africa being affected.

The firm is striving to get a backup IT system up and running, but most liquid transportation is still operating, according to the corporation.

SEA-Invest is aware of cyber-attacks against other firms, according to the spokesperson, but no relationship has been established.

According to a spokeswoman for Evos in the Netherlands, IT services at terminals in Terneuzen, Ghent, and Malta have “induced some execution delays.”

Oiltanking Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, a company that stores and transports oil, automobile fuels, and other petroleum products, said on Monday that it had been hacked.

According to the firm, it was compelled to function at “restricted capacity” and was investigating the situation.

According to some sources, the assault on Oiltanking was caused by ransomware, which encrypts data and renders computer systems useless until a ransom is paid.

Following a ransomware assault on US oil provider Colonial Pipeline in May of last year, supplies were tightened across the US, prompting various states to declare an emergency.

According to a BBC report, port supply routes were affected by an employee of a large barging firm in the Netherlands.

The problem was initially observed on Tuesday, when oil delivery began to slow down, according to the worker. “Things are progressing, but at a considerably slower pace than usual,” he remarked.

The outage occurs as tensions between Ukraine and Russia remain high and concerns about rising energy prices escalate.

However, cyber-security experts warn against assuming that the many events are part of a coordinated campaign to destabilize the European energy sector.

“Some varieties of malware harvest emails and contact lists and use them to automatically spam dangerous files or links,” said Brett Callow, Threat Analyst at cyber-security firm Emsisoft.

“This is why you may observe incident clusters based on industry or geography.”

Another argument is that all of the organizations utilize the same software for their operations, which may have been hacked.