We have recently shared how a cyberattack had hit several U.S. natural gas pipeline owners causing their communications systems to shut down. In website notices to customers, at least seven pipeline operators said their third-party electronic communications systems were shut down, with five confirming the service disruptions were caused by hacking. Although the cyberattack didn’t disrupt the supply of gas to U.S. homes and businesses, it triggered a wave of change within the utility industry. That there are no requirements for companies to report to lawmakers or to alert the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which is the agency that oversees the nation’s more than 2.6 million miles of oil and gas conduits, shifted the focus from the attack to how the industry is handling such threats, raising the prospect of tighter regulation. This recent attack underscores that energy companies from power providers to pipeline operators and oil drillers are increasingly vulnerable to electronic sabotage. It also showed how even a minor attack can have ripple effects, forcing utilities to warn of billing delays and making it more difficult for analysts and traders to predict a key government report on gas stockpiles. – Bloomberg

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