North American Propane Distributor ‘Superior Plus’ Discloses Ransomware Attack

North American propane distributor Superior Plus this week announced that it had to shut down certain computer systems after falling victim to a ransomware attack.

The company says it discovered the breach on Sunday, December 12, and that, as a response, it took steps to mitigate impact on corporate data and operations.

“Superior has temporarily disabled certain computer systems and applications as it investigates this incident and is in the process of bringing these systems back online,” the company says.

Superior, which retained independent security experts to investigate the assault, also notes that it doesn’t have evidence that the attackers have been able to compromise the security of customer or other personal data.

Distributing and selling propane and distillates and related products and services, the company operates at more than 780,000 locations in the United States and Canada.

In an emailed comment, Chris Clements, VP of Solutions Architecture, Cerberus Sentinel, points out that the attack was only detected after the ransomware was deployed, but that it’s unclear for how long the attackers actually had access to Superior Plus’ systems before that.

“Normal attacker dwell time typically extends weeks or months before they trigger ransomware. During this time, the attackers pivot throughout the victim’s network and attempt to escalate their access level to gain complete control of all systems and data. Mass scale data exfiltration has also become the norm in these events that can trigger a secondary extortion demand from the attackers,” Clements says.

He also points out that organizations need to take security very seriously, especially when customer data is involved.

“Getting security right takes talent, budget, and a lot of hard work. It truly takes a cultural approach to security by an organization that starts with understanding the extent of their risk exposure and what it takes to secure their environment,” Clements adds.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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