Cyber attack - fuel supply infrastructure

This risk is featured in the full matrix, representing the averages of multiple different scenarios presented together in the ‘cyber attacks on infrastructure’ category.

Impact 5
risk indicator
ID 11
Risk theme Terrorism
Impact & Likelihood
Impact key
5 Catastrophic
4 Significant
3 Moderate
2 Limited
1 Minor
Likelihood key
5 >25%
4 5-25%
3 1-5%
2 0.2-1%
1 <0.2%


A cyber attack on the UK’s fuel supply infrastructure could have implications for UK fuel production or distribution. All UK operators have robust cyber security practices but vulnerabilities in this space are evolving at pace and so it is a risk that government monitors closely.


The reasonable worst-case scenario is based on a cyber attack on a system critical to the UK’s fuel distribution and supply. This could cause the temporary loss of fuel supply to a region. Replenishment of sites would take several days depending on the location.

Response capability requirements

Government has established contingency plans in place to manage any impacts on fuel supply, and these are listed in the National Emergency Plan for Fuel, including the Reserve Tanker Fleet supported by Operation ESCALIN, a fuel supply contingency measure to make trained military drivers available to support
fuel deliveries.


Once operations at the given site have resumed and the rest of industry is able to start to readjust supply routes, fuel stocks would begin to recover quickly. However, the rate at which stock levels at forecourts increase would be dependent on the remaining stock levels across the country/region, number of sites that have stocked out and demand levels.