Oil carrier Colonial Pipeline network only recovered at the end of this week
It will be some time before US oil carrier Colonial Pipeline, the company that fuels about 45 percent of the east coast of the United States, recovers from last Friday’s cyber attack. This was reported by the AP news agency on Tuesday. The pipeline operator hopes to have most of its network back in order by the end of the week. A “ransomware” attack forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down its entire pipeline network on Friday.
This weekend, American media already wrote that hacker collective DarkSide was probably behind the attack. The FBI confirmed that on Monday. DarkSide is a Russian-speaking hacker collective that penetrates the computer systems of large companies and organizations. The group uses malware programmed not to attack computer networks with Russian-language keyboards. According to The Guardian they have already hacked dozens of victims in the United States and Europe. Ransom received, often paid in bitcoins, is partly transferred by the group to the developers of the ransomware and to charities. It is as yet unclear whether Colonial Pipeline has paid any ransom.
‘Making money apolitical’
The FBI says it is still investigating whether DarkSide’s cybercriminals operate autonomously or whether they may be collaborating with governments. US President Joe Biden said on Monday that there is as yet no evidence that the Kremlin was involved in the attack. But, he said, because the ransomware is likely “in Russia,” the country has “a certain responsibility to deal with it.” The Russian embassy denies involvement. DarkSide wrote in a statement Monday that the collective’s goal is not to disrupt societies or engage in politics, but to make money.
The attack is one of the most serious cyber-hostages to date: Colonial Pipeline operates a network of 8,850 kilometers of pipelines carrying 380 million liters of oil per day. To prevent fuel shortages and rising prices as much as possible, eighteen states decided that truck drivers who transport fuel no longer have to comply with the maximum number of driving hours on a working day.