A large scale cyber attack has affected the operations of oil terminals in Europe, halting the tankers from supplying energy supplies.
According to officials, the cyberattacks that hit the oil terminals began several days ago, causing a halt in the oil supply chain facilities in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Germany’s judicial authorities say they have initiated an investigation into alleged ‘ extortion’ of oil operators amid rising energy supplies prices.
Even prosecutors of Belgian have initiated an inquiry into the hacking of oil facilities in the country’s port, including Antwerp, Europe’s second-biggest port after Rotterdam.
In addition, Europol, an agency of the European Union’s policy, had also offered its support to German authorities.
The hackers hit at least six oil terminals in Belgium, the Netherlands and ‘Hamburg’ a major port in northern Germany.
On Thursday, a German corporation, Oiltanking, revealed that it had been the victim of a cyber intrusion affecting its computer systems.
Furthermore, the company said they noticed a cyberattack on 29 January and took the most suitable emergency measures to prevent oil operations.
On Tuesday, Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG, a company that stores and distributes large amounts of fuel throughout the country, said that its IT systems had been hacked and its operations had been halted. Indeed, several terminals in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil trading region were also impacted, according to a broker who handles fuel deliveries to customers inland via the Rhine River on Wednesday.
Because of such incidents in the oil industry, there is a growing concern on cyber security to prevent further cyberattacks.
Last year, a U.S company, Colonial Pipeline Co., paid a ransom after a cyberattack forced it to shut the largest fuel pipeline, which resulted as a hike in the price of fuel and shortages at filling stations.
According to the head of Germany’s information technology security agency, the situation was not grave. The hack targeted a prominent oil merchant and caused payment problems at hundreds of gas stations.