Colonial Pipeline Hack Highlights Growing Energy Security Risks:
Infrastructure Cyberattacks are a Threat to National Security
The recent hack of the Colonial Pipeline computer systems, which disrupted gasoline supplies to the Northeast has raised a new set of energy security concerns. Although the attack was presumably not the actions of a state entity, it is hard not to view it as an act of terrorism given its potential for widespread disruption. This is not a new threat. In the late 1990s, President Clinton issued Presidential Directive 63 which recognized that growing threats to critical infrastructure had become “increasingly automated and interlinked.” The Directive mandated that within five years (by 2003) critical U.S. infrastructure would be hardened to cyberattacks. Despite the Directive, measures to protect infrastructure from growing cyberattacks have not kept up.