6 lessons learned about cybersecurity and freight in 2021

An illustration of a hacker holding a laptop with a tractor trailer to the right.

It was once again another rough year for cybersecurity and freight. The main reason: ransomware attacks, in which criminals encrypt data and demand payment, sometimes in the millions of dollars, in exchange for unlocking it. Even though the U.S. government has been taking an increasingly aggressive approach to fighting ransomware, the attacks have continued. They hit companies across the supply chain, including trucking, logistics, freight factoring, freight forwarding — and even fuel...

More US moves to tighten up transport security in war against cyber attacks

Washington is moving to ramp up security against cybercrime in the US transport arena.
The US Department of Homeland Security’s latest initiatives are pushing railroads to beef up their security, following a similar drive targeting airports and airlines.
From the start of next year, major railways must also conduct a vulnerability assessment and develop formal plans on how to respond to cybersecurity incidents. In addition, they have to designate a cybersecurity co-ordinator …

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How does a ransomware attack work?

A sign pointing to Colonial Pipeline, which was targeted in a ransomware attack.

Imagine you’re sitting at a computer. Perhaps you’re managing a fleet of trucks. Or ships. Or perhaps tendering a load of cargo, or sending customs clearance documentation. And then suddenly, things stop working. Every file has a strange extension. You can’t open anything. Then you notice a text file. It kindly explains that you’ve been the victim of a ransomware attack.

Ransomware attacks are pretty straightforward at their core. They involve a piece of software called malware that encrypts...


US recovers ransom paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers

A gas station sign says "Out" because its tanks are empty. Amid the Colonial Pipeline Co. cyber attack and shutdown, the U.S. faces gasoline shortages and high gas prices.

The U.S. Department of Justice has seized $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin paid to the hackers behind the cyberattack that led to the shutdown of Colonial Pipeline in May, federal officials announced on Monday. 

The FBI recovered 63.7 bitcoins that had been paid to members of the DarkSide ransomware gang after a federal judge signed a seizure order. 

“Ransom payments are the fuel that propels the digital extortion engine, and today’s announcement demonstrates that the United States will use all...


Colonial-level cyberattack on trucking likely – but preventable

A tractor-trailer of Greatwide Truckload. A ransomware gang recently claimed it attacked the company.

In case they needed one, the transportation and logistics industry got a reminder — in the form of the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline — of the kind of havoc hackers can wreak on businesses and their customers. The shutdown of a vital supplier of the diesel that keeps trucks moving could just as easily have happened to a major truckload carrier or any other company in the supply chain.

And chances are a catastrophic attack will hit the industry — again. In 2020, the big ones struck Forward...


FreightWaves LIVE recap: Cybersecurity lessons after the Colonial ransomware attack

A screen capture of Russ Felker of GlobalTranz, discussing cybersecurity..

This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves LIVE @HOME.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The importance of cybersecurity in the age of ransomware attacks

DETAILS: The recent cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline laid bare the risk posed by ransomware attacks. GlobalTranz Chief Technology Officer Russ Felker talks to FreightWaves reporter Nate Tabak about how transportation and logistics companies can beef up their cybersecurity.

SPEAKER: Felker is the chief technology officer at GlobalTranz, a leading...


Lawmakers Grill Pentagon, Homeland Security Officials on How to Prevent Another Colonial Pipeline-Style Attack

NASA Photo

Members of a key cyber panel wanted to know why the Department of Homeland Security wasn’t alerted to the ransomware attack that set off panic-buying of gasoline and whether the Pentagon could have taken measures to stop it before it happened.

Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-W.Va.) said at Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services cyber subcommittee hearing that what happened when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down “was an attack to me” coming from outside the U.S. and had implications for the Pentagon.



US maritime group fears waiver abuse by fuel shippers

A group representing U.S. domestic maritime interests has warned the Biden administration that the Jones Act waivers issued by the government to address fuel shortages could be used by shippers to make money off the crisis.

In a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday, the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) urged the administration to reject any waiver of the Jones Act — a law that requires all cargoes moving domestically to be loaded into American vessels — unless U.S.-flag ships are...


Drilling Deep: Diesel in the wake of Colonial; KeyBanc’s Fowler on Q1

On this week’s Drilling Deep, host John Kingston talks about how diesel markets fared during the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

There was so much focus on gasoline supplies, gasoline lines and the hoarding that created those issues that it raises the question: How did diesel do during this unprecedented time?

Also on this week’s podcast, Kingston is joined by Todd Fowler of KeyBanc. Fowler sits in on Drilling Deep every other quarter to talk about what earnings said about the state of the...


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