While Ukraine is in a battle for its democracy, oil & gas fields here in Texas and across the nation could be targeted for cyber attacks from Russia.

According to CBS 7, Europe could end up losing 30% of its oil imports if Russia cuts them off which means the U.S. and especially the Permian Basin could be called on to fill that vacancy.

But American energy is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and could be targeted if Russia decides to fight back after being sanctioned by NATO.

“You’d be amazed at the ugly things you could make happen,” said David Swift, Principal Architect at Securonix, a company performing cyber security analytics for private and public groups.

“This is the type of action that Putin and the Russians are willing to take,” Rep. August Pfluger said. “They’ve demonstrated the will to do that, and that’s exactly what we need to be guarding [against].”

Remember the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline? That could be what happens if Russia decides to do a cyber attack on the U.S. only this time it will result in a much worse outcome than crippling the East Coast by cutting off the oil supply.

David Swift pointed out that our infrastructure is old making refineries an easy target.

“So, if you go after one of those, where they’re turning oil and gas, and they’re using very high temperatures and very high pressures, those things are very sensitive,” said Swift. “It’s not hard to take one down.”

We have about 130 refineries nationwide, and one close by in Big Spring, but no new refineries have been built since 1977.

“They’ve mapped it all out,” said Swift. “They know exactly where the vulnerabilities are, and they’re just waiting to use those new, interesting techniques that may have a short lifespan to when it’s most effective.”

 

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