One expert is calling it “the most significant and successful attack on energy infrastructure we know of in the United States.”
A ransomware cyberattack was launched against the Colonial Pipeline on Friday and if it isn’t figured out soon, it’s going to have a severe impact because the pipeline which runs from Texas to New Jersey provides 45% of the gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel used on the East Coast. The attack was actually on their business systems, but the company shut down the pipelines as a precaution and everything is now being investigated by a third party company the pipeline company hired. If it continues, that could cause other issues and prices to surge for gasoline and other fuel — more than they already are because of Joe Biden’s policies.
“Administration officials said they believed the attack was the act of a criminal group, rather than a nation seeking to disrupt critical infrastructure in the United States. But at times, such groups have had loose affiliations with foreign intelligence agencies and have operated on their behalf,” The New York Times reported.
Mike Chapple from University of Notre Dame´s Mendoza College of Business, a former computer scientist with the National Security Agency, said, “The attacks were extremely sophisticated and they were able to defeat some pretty sophisticated security controls, or the right degree of security controls weren´t in place,” The Daily Mail reported.
According to Bloomberg, the hackers are believed to be part of DarkSide and grabbed 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network on Thursday before they shut down the pipeline. DarkSide is thought to be a ransomware group that tries to hold companies up and is believed to be based in Russia.
One cybersecurity expert, Rob Lee, said that if it only involved the business systems, it might be “short-lived.”
Colonial Pipeline issued a statement saying they were “taking steps to understand and resolve the issue. Our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation.”
Here’s a good breakdown by Bloomberg explaining how significant the pipeline is for normal operations in the United States and why the attack is so significant.
The operator of the biggest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. shut down operations on Friday following a ransomware attack.@hmsjeffbair explains how the attack could impact fuel prices at the pump https://t.co/0A7S2yrgfF pic.twitter.com/IopjZBnzLd
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) May 8, 2021
Unfortunately, we’ve left a lot of room for people to mess with our critical infrastructure without adequate protections.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said this showed the infrastructure bill being pushed by Joe Biden should put “the hardening of critical infrastructure” front and center.
Except that bill has precious little focus on infrastructure and a lot more focus on Democratic agenda items.