Monday, June 24, 2024

Ransomware Attack on The U.S. Largest Gasoline Pipeline Shut Down Operations

The largest gasoline company in the US, Colonial Pipeline was recently attacked by ransomware, and this attack has caused the company to shut down all its operations. 

Colonial Pipeline produces half of the gasoline and diesel on the East Coast of the US. On the 7th of May, the Colonial Pipeline learned that they have become the victim of a cyberattack. 

However, as a quick action to mitigate this situation, they promptly shut down some of their systems to accommodate the threat that has temporarily halted all the pipeline operations and also affected some of their information systems.

The Supply of Gasoline Could Be Disrupted

The Colonial Pipeline supplies the fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to the eastern and southern regions of the US as we hinted earlier. The company transports 2.5 million barrels of refined fuel per day, and the pipeline is almost 9 kilometers long.

In short, it’s more than 454 million liters of fuel are elevated through the pipelines that it serves daily. While according to the provided by the company itself, Colonial Pipeline supplies over 45% of the fuel to the East Coast.

But, here the most terrifying thing is that if the company won’t able to return back the supply to a normal state within a few days, then this situation could provoke disruptions in the supply of gasoline to the US East Coast.

Moreover, to normalize the situation and to mitigate the disruptions the suppliers are already looking for other alternative supply paths to avoid the fuel shortages from Atlanta to New York.

Even the company itself has confirmed that they are already in the process of reviving all their services. While they have affirmed that once they will deem that the situation is now under control and everything is safe to start, they will bring back their full system online.

Hackers behind this attack

The former agents of the US administration who worked in the field of cybersecurity have speculated that the hackers or the hackers’ group behind this critical cyberattack is ‘DarkSide.’

According to the reports, this attack was carried out within the structure of a “criminal scheme” and was not launched by the authorities.

In this attack, the hacker has managed to seize almost 100GB of data from the company’s network. But, the outcomes of the attack were limited to hacking of information systems only, as during this event the hackers weren’t able to manage to penetrate the company’s control system.

Recently, the cyberattacks against the critical US infrastructure have grown dramatically, hence, these types of situations are constantly provoking the White House to develop a program directed at strengthening the security of these types of critical infrastructures.

Colonial is Investigating

Colonial has declared that it had already hired a third-party cybersecurity firm to start the investigation. Through this investigation, they will detect the nature and extent of this incident.

Not only that even the Colonial Pipeline also proclaimed that they are in constant touch with the law enforcement and other federal agencies like the Department of Energy of the US.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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