This week, the United States experienced an attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which is considered one of the most significant attacks on the nation’s infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline transports almost half of the east coast’s fuel supplies, and the price at pumps is expected to rise if the outage lasts any longer. In response, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is calling the situation “out of control” and arguing that there needs to be a response to “this hacking epidemic.”
We have to wait in line for gas because some hacker on the other side of the world?
This is out of control and we need to deal with this hacking epidemic now pic.twitter.com/nJpzio6p39
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 12, 2021
In a video posted on Twitter, Rubio shared that a number of Floridians are “making 15, 20, 30 minute lines to buy gasoline.” Gas state stations have subsequently been shut down, and the Florida lawmakers says that it’s “all because… a couple of scumbags – these hackers – working halfway across the country were able to hack into a company’s records, hold them hostage and disrupt your life.”
Information regarding the hack has not been released, but experts assume that the hack happened from the administrative side of the business.
Jon Niccols, a cyber-expert from Checkpoint, said that “an employee may have been tricked into downloading some malware… we’ve also seen recent examples of hackers getting in using weaknesses or compromise of a third-party software.”
Senator Rubio explained that issues like this affect small businesses that often don’t know who to turn to for help. “Some of these businesses are paying the ransom,” he said, adding that “they’re being hacked, they’re paying the ransom, and we don’t even know about it because it’s a private business… so it’s bigger than we know it is.”
Asking “who’s in charge at the federal level?” to make sure that this “hacking epidemic” comes to a stop, Rubio also asked “what information are we providing people? What is the latest and greatest technology and tech advice that we are giving companies about how to protect themselves?”