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Cybersecurity

Offshore US Oil, Gas Facilities at ‘Significant’ Risk of Cyberattack, Watchdog Warns

  • Successful cyber attack could be ‘potentially catastrophic’
  • GAO report warns of threat posed by ‘malicious state actors’
A deepwater oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana.

A deepwater oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Offshore US oil and natural gas installations are “at significant risk” of cyber attack, according to a federal watchdog that warned of a potential disaster on par with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout. 

The Government Accountability Office found that offshore exploration equipment, including those critical to safety, are increasingly reliant on remote technology that’s vulnerable to cyber attack. Efforts by the Interior Department arm charged with overseeing drilling safety have not “resulted in substantial action,” the GAO said in its report.