One of the United States’ largest pipelines, which transports refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas to New York, was forced to shut down after being hit by the worst-ever us cyber-attack. US infrastructure demanding ransomware by cybercriminals.
The operator of this pipeline delivery system, Colonial Pipeline, said in a vaguely worded statement on Friday evening that it had shut down its 5,500 miles of pipeline, which it says carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies, which is approximately 2.5 million barrels each day.
Taking immediate action to the cyber-attack, The Biden administration has invoked emergency powers as part of an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to avoid fuel shortages along with the federal department issued an emergency declaration immediately the next day to relax regulations for truck drivers carrying gasoline & diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products in 18 states and the District of Columbia along the East coastline.
It was hit by what Colonial pipeline called a ransomware attack, in which cyber hackers typically locked up their entire computer systems by encrypting data, paralyzing networks, and full IT infrastructure, and then demand a huge ransom to unlock it.
On Sunday, Company said it was constantly in the process of restoring some of its IT systems, said it remained in contact with law enforcement departments and other federal agencies, including the energy department, which is leading the federal government response.
The company has not clarified what was demanded or who made the ransom demand.
However, two people in the investigation team who spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the anonymous group as DarkSide, which is one of the ransomware gangs in the world’s criminal industry that has cost western nations 10s of billions of dollars in the past 3 years.
On Sunday, Colonial said it was advancing with a “system restart” plan. They said its main pipeline remained offline but some smaller lines were are still operational.
A source close to the Colonial investigation team said the attackers might have also stolen data from the company. Many times stolen data is more valuable to ransomware criminals than the advantage they gain by crippling a network.
Because of such cyber-attacks disrupting the gasoline supply, there have been delays in transportation services including medical services and supply chain transport.
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