German fuel distributor victim of cyberattack
A major ransomware attack has disrupted the German operations of petrol supplier Oiltanking Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG disturbed. In Germany, the supplier is responsible for the supply of petrol too, among other things, the thousands of Shell filling stations in the country.
The problem currently lies with the automated systems used to empty and fill tank trucks. These systems are now down at the 13 largest distribution locations. These processes cannot be controlled manually. The company is now using alternative charging points to deal with the problems.
Unless it takes a particularly long time to fix the IT problems, there is no danger of serious fuel shortages yet. The concern remains real because Oiltanking supplies 26 German companies with fuel. This also includes Shell and with that no fewer than 1,955 gas stations throughout Germany. A similar hack in the US did indeed cause short-lived shortages, followed by a run on petrol in the affected areas.
There is no information yet on who is behind the attack and whether a ransom is being demanded. Due to the nature of the target, there is a significant chance that the company has been attacked by government hackers. These groups are more likely to target important infrastructure with the aim of inflicting economic damage and disrupting society.
Last week, the BfV, the German counterpart of the AIVD, warned that it was still vigilant against attacks from APT27. This hacker group is suspected of attacking companies on behalf of the Chinese government.
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