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Power Hardware Technology

The Cyber Threat To the Global Oil Supply 123

Lasrick writes "Blake Clayton has an excellent piece on the cyber threat to the global oil supply. His description of the August attack on Saudi Aramco, which rendered thirty thousand of its computers useless, helps make his point. From the article: 'The future of energy insecurity has arrived. In August, a devastating cyber attack rocked one of the world’s most powerful oil companies, Saudi Aramco, Riyadh’s state-owned giant, rendering thirty thousand of its computers useless. This was no garden-variety breach. In the eyes of U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta, it was “probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date.”'"
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The Cyber Threat To the Global Oil Supply

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  • It *is* FUD (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @10:47PM (#41953597)

    Saudi Armco don't connect their oil production control systems to their public network. They made it clear it did not affect oil production.

    "Oil and production systems were run off "isolated network systems unaffected by the attack, which the firm has pledged to investigate. In the meantime, Saudi Aramco promised to improve the security of its network to guard against fresh assaults."

    But it's always a nuisance when even the administration computers get a virus, so they should improve their systems.

    The fix for critical system vulnerability is: KEEP THEM ON SECURE PRIVATE NETWORKS. You cannot trust firewalls or VPNs since these are complex software, a simple physical separation of networks is and always will be the best fix. And Armco know this and did this.

  • Who Blake Clayton is (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @01:13AM (#41954199) Homepage

    This guy is not a security expert. His bio: "Before joining the Council, I was a sell-side commodity strategist at Louis Capital Markets." That's a brokerage firm. A "sell-side analyst" is really a PR guy who generates happy-talk "buy" recommendations which are sent to customers.

  • by CAPSLOCK2000 ( 27149 ) on Monday November 12, 2012 @06:21AM (#41955073) Homepage

    This argument is raised in any discussion that touches on cars or gas prices. The situation is about to get unsustainable. Somebody will get hurt over this. The longer the inevitable is delayed, the more people will get into trouble. It's time to start fixing. Slowly raise taxes on gas and use the money to improve the situation. Create bike lanes. Promote cycling. Improve the public transportation system. Convince people to live closer to their work.

  • Re:Security is easy (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday November 12, 2012 @09:39AM (#41955677) Homepage Journal

    Simply get off running on imported oil. The fastest way for USA is to move to Natural Gas for our commercial vehicles and large passenger vehicles. We have abundant supplies

    Everything you said is wrong.

    First, we do _not_ have abundant supplies. We are already running out of natural gas sources, which don't last forever. This is why there is so much push to engage in the destructive process of fracking; that's how we get more natural gas. Asking us to use more natural gas is asking for more fracking. Second, that would NOT repeat NOT be the fastest way, it would be THE MOST EXPENSIVE way, because our commercial vehicles and large passenger vehicles run on diesel fuel, and cannot reasonably be converted to natural gas. That only works for gassers, which have a compatible compression ratio. Converting a gasser to natural gas involves preventing gasoline delivery, and installing a special regulator, it costs a few hundred bucks. Converting a diesel to natural gas involves changing engines. The fastest way would be to produce biodiesel from algae on seawater in the desert using technology proven at Sandia NREL in the 1980s with our tax dollars. We have more than enough land sitting around under the dominion of the BLM to replace 100% of our transportation fuels with biodiesel-from-algae.

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