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Protecting Tank Gauges from Hacking

A video that describes common methods of protection, with their pros and cons
as well as the NEW
Kachoolie Firewall and Auto Configurator

Why is it important to protect Tank Gauges from unauthorized access?

In the same way as a Tank Gauge access must be physically secured, it must also be secured against remote unauthorized access.


Definition of “unprotected Tank Gauge on the Internet”. -

“A tank gauge whose Internet Protocol (IP) address is easily found, and that can be accessed over the Internet to read information and make all configuration changes, using readily available tools such as Telnet.”
Unlike a physical break in, a cyber attack can leave no traces. Configuration changes can be made and later reversed with no way of knowing they occurred. 


Unauthorized access can cause a variety of problems.

Here are a few examples.

  1. FUEL THEFT can be hidden. The theft can occur at any point. Delivery, dispenser, or via the tank fill cap. 5,000+ gallons a year at a high volume site can be stolen undetected. 
  2. Environmental Compliance Fines. Reports and alarms from data generated by an unsecured Tank Gauge can be considered to be invalid. This includes the reports and alarms generated locally by the Tank Gauge. “Ghost” alarms can add to the cost of compliance. Others can monitor compliance and report compliance irregularities that are real or created by a hacker.
  3. Critical Business Information Theft. Sales and deliveries volumes, the fuel types and when they occur, provides valuable business intelligence for competitors.
  4. Loss of remote access  results in expensive service calls.
  5. Makes the site a target for general hacking. Vulnerable Tank Gauges are easily found. If one device at the site is vulnerable, other devices may also be vulnerable. Hackers will focus on sites with a vulnerable device rather than random sites. Simple tools like port scanners can easily find additional vulnerable site devices.
  6. Site Shutdown. Cost of lost sales of fuel and C-Store items as well as business reputation.
  7. Penalties under PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-21of Feb. 2013 can be applied when there is unauthorized access to fueling stations, which are part of the US critical infrastructure.
  8. “Run Outs” and “No Fits”, can easily be caused by tampering with the Tank Gauge.