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Colonial Pipeline fuel tanks in Woodbine, Maryland, in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday announced new security regulations for pipeline operators in an effort to bolster their defenses against cyberattacks.

Why it matters: The latest order comes in response to the ransomware operation against Colonial Pipeline in May, which crippled the United States' fuel supply and set off gas shortages across several states.

What they're saying: "The lives and livelihoods of the American people depend on our collective ability to protect our Nation’s critical infrastructure from evolving threats," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

  • "Through this Security Directive, DHS can better ensure the pipeline sector takes the steps necessary to safeguard their operations from rising cyber threats, and better protect our national and economic security."

The big picture: DHS ordered pipeline operators to "implement specific mitigation measures" to protect against cyberattacks and develop contingency and recovery plans to use if they are targeted and breached.

  • Shortly after Colonial Pipeline was breached, DHS ordered pipeline operators in an initial directive to immediately report to the Transportation Security Administration and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency if they are targeted by a cyberattack and to hire a cyber official.

Go deeper: State Department offers $10 million in rewards for cyber crime information

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jul 19, 2021 - Technology

U.S. and key allies accuse China of Microsoft Exchange cyberattacks

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S., NATO and other allies are collectively calling out China for malicious cyberattacks, including a March attack that exploited a flaw in Microsoft's Exchange Server.

Why it matters: It's the first time that NATO, a military alliance founded in 1949 to confront the Soviet Union, has signed onto a formal condemnation of China's cyber activities.

Trump's Republican critics rake in cash

Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger during the first Jan. 6 hearing. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Republican critics of Donald Trump have raked in campaign cash this year as their votes to impeach the former president and investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have put them in the crosshairs of Trump and his allies.

Why it matters: The 2022 midterms won't just determine which party controls Congress. They're also shaping up to be a test of Trump's continued hold on the GOP. The few remaining Republican dissenters in Washington need to put up big fundraising numbers if they hope to stave off a purge.

The Republicans' mixed mandate message

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans have expressed selective rage amid the rise of the Delta variant: They rail against the return of indoor masking but are far less vocal about vaccine requirements.

Why it matters: Masking may help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, but the real solution to the pandemic is getting more Americans vaccinated. Increased support for that — including the use of heavier-handed methods like mandates — will only increase its chance of succeeding.