1(630)802-8605 Ravi.das@bn-inc.net

Well, here we go, the start of a brand new week.  A little late today with the blog, as I have been somewhat under the weather as of late.  As I have written in the past, it seems like the Cyber attacker of today is not just out to steal your username and password.  Rather, they want everything, both physical and virtual.  Heck, if they could steal your car or your home, they would do that as well I am sure.

So it is today that I bring you some news on a new thing that the Cyber attacker is after – gas as the gasoline station.  Yep, you heard me right.  But after all, how can you blame them for wanting this precious commodity?  Heck, If I could get free gas, I would be the first one at the pump (doing it legally of course).  With gas prices at huge highs these days, in a way, I can maybe see why they would be so interested in gas.

So here goes the story:  The Cyber attack took place at around 1pm in Detroit on June 23.  Apparently, the hackers ingeniously used some sort of remote control device that allowed them to covertly take over the gas pump as well as its operations.  As a result, this locked out the gas station employee from accessing the pump to stop this theft of gas.

As it turns out, the Cyber attackers stole about 600 gallons of gas, which resulted in about $800.00 worth of commodity being stolen.  Interestingly enough, this was stolen right in the middle of the day!!!  The heist only took a couple of minutes, and by the time the gas attendant realized what was really going on, it was way too late.

According to the Detroit police, about 10 other automobiles also got the free gas, but the police are not sure if they were also part of this Cyber attack or not.  Now, the fair question at this point to be asked is how did all of this actually happen?

Some Cyber researchers have speculated that it was the  gas station fuel management system which was targeted in this specific Cyber attack. Apparently, Cyber researchers have discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in automated fuel management systems that can allow Cyber attackers to shut down the gas pump, alter fuel prices, hijack card payments and more.

But, this is not the first time that gas stations have been a target for the Cyber attacker.  For example, Internet exposed gas pump management systems have been targeted, some of which were not password protected (WTF!?!?!?!).  Most of these other attacks have been carried about the Cyber attack group known as “Anonymous”.

Also, earlier this year, a man in Texas allegedly stole $800 worth of gas using a similar device.  Also, a BP employee in New Jersey was found to have manipulated computer records for years, thus heisting over $300,000 worth of gas from the firm.

My thoughts?  Well, first of all, I am not sure what exactly this device is that the attacker used in their heist.  No further details were revealed, and I did some more research, but did not find too much either on the topic.  So, it will be interesting to find over a period of time what this “device” really is, and how it works.  Once I find something out, believe me, I will be all over it.

Second, it just amazes me how this could have happened in sheer, broad daylight.  Didn’t anybody notice any kind or type of suspicious activity?  Surely, someone must have seen something.  In my opinion, although the Cyber attacker of today is very stealthy and covert, in their arrogance of a successful attack, they always leave a crumb of trails behind.

Third, it’s one thing to have an outside Cyber attacker launch an attack of this scale, but then there is now clearly evident the inside threat as well, as exemplified a couple of paragraphs ago.  Once again, this a very real threat, which is very subjective and also very complex to solve as well.  You can search my blog site for topics that I have written on this very same subject.

My advice to you?  Well, report anything suspicious to the gas station attendant or immediately call the police.  Also protect your self by keeping your credit card safe.  As far as possible, never use the skimmers that are located on the pump.  Always pay in front of the cashier.  Sure, it’s a little bit of a hassle, but definitely worth the piece of mind in the long run.