Major Eastern U.S. Pipeline Resumes Operations After Ransomware Attack
Are you concerned about cyberattacks on critical infrastructure?
- Colonial Pipeline announced that pipeline operations resumed Thursday at 5pm.
- The company noted that "it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal." It added:
"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal."
- The pipeline's restart comes as GasBuddy reported rising levels of gasoline supply shortages at filling stations across the Eastern and Southern U.S.
What’s the story?
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday confirmed that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the cyberattack that prompted the shutdown of a major energy pipeline in the Eastern and Southern U.S. Like many other ransomware groups, Darkside has typically spared Russian, Kazakh, and Ukrainian companies, according to a report by Reuters.
- The Colonial Pipeline Company was targeted by a ransomware attack late last week in its administrative computer systems and temporarily halted pipeline operations in response, although operational systems were not targeted according to reports. Since then, it has been working with law enforcement, federal agencies, and cybersecurity firms in an effort to restore service.
- The 5,500-mile pipeline runs from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, to its terminus in New Jersey. The Colonial Pipeline supplies about 45% of the gasoline, heating oil, and jet fuel used on the East Coast.
- In an update, Colonial announced that it is restoring service in a phased and stepwise approach based on safety and compliance standards in the hope of “substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”
- A ransomware attack effectively holds a computer system or sensitive data hostage until the attackers are paid a ransom. The ransom demand in the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack hasn’t been disclosed, although the Darkside group has demanded payments of up to $2 million in previous attacks.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / kodda)
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That's nice, but we have to move away from fossil fuels. We wouldn't have these issues in the first place.
NoHedges: Thank you.
I am going to go with JimK on this one. This is an area of expertise where he has the background knowledge that I do not. Likewise, after multiple years of trusted and truthful guidance, JimK has proven to be more accurate in representation of my views than the majority of the representatives in my state. But to be clear, Joe Neguse is an excellent, thoughtful, and ethical representative. Unfortunately, his representation does not extend throughout Colorado Congressional District 3. And any interaction against the Trumpian right wing in Colorado Congressional District 3 is… well… very discouraged by members of my home community. To use Countable and maintain some level of personal safety I am forced to use the address of our family home in Neguse’s district and not that of my primary district. I do, however, follow all federal and state laws when I cast my vote.
They had to pay a bribe to the share holders
We do need to protect our interest.
Me, too, Marylynn! 😊❤️😊 I’m fed up that we wind up paying for spills left by companies no longer producing, too. We need to go after the owners, personally, for leaving these sites unsecured. Put them in bankruptcy and jail, like they deserve. I am, also, so sick of paying subsidies to the oil and mining companies. They make BILLIONS of dollars a year, for God’s sake. The CEO’S millions. And all these “loans” we just gave to airlines and other big businesses. They should have to pay us back for not having the foresight to save for a “rainy day!” Hell, most of them used the money to secure the bonuses for their CEO’S, not their workers. I am so SICK OF THIS. WE MUST STOP IT.
There is no excuse for this happening! The top officials of this company need to spend 90 days in jail for failing to take the proper precautions! Congress needs to set high standards for corporate production networks to be isolated and have physical backups for all production computers and PLC’s to allow for quick recovery from attacks such as this ! We need to act quickly as China and Russia now see out weakness in full view ! We not only must have rules and standards, but inspections and quick severe penalties for violations!
It amazes me! Do our leaders not expect this to happen. It is our vulnerability. Why have we allowed a country such as Russia to out run us on such security measures? After 4 years of Trumpism it is a Miracle that the Russian government has not already torn us into. We need to realize how close they have come. Anyone knows trump was an asset.
DO Your job Congress and demand Accountability
Why are these companies open to attack. They have the resources and available tech to secure their communications. We need to know how this happened. The Darksiders are not the only ones who benefitted from this. Who will be next due to this neglegence.
Remove marijuana from Schedule I of Controlled Substance Act and you’ll have a bigger available workforce of possible tech whizzes.
If we do not harden our grid of our energy sources then we will all be fighting not only to get gas but have electricity or water or any other number of critical services! The only way we harden it is for Congress to mandate it and fund it!!!
Today, almost every company and business relies on computer technology to run their operation, and unless they have a secure and updated system, they can easily be hacked now. Like the owner of this pipeline, many have no one to watch for anyone getting into their system that shouldn't. The companies that handle phone services still haven't managed to stop people from getting into their system to use someone's number to make a scam call. Our Corporations need to enhance all security systems to block the hackers. Is the profit so important that they don't want to invest in better security with trained PEOPLE watching for problems, and not just another computer program? Today, profit is more important than people, so they make products that won't last without any concern that the workers of American can't afford replacing these things so often. I believe this pipeline was run with this kind of thinking. How do you tell a millions of dollars CEO that they're missing the point?
Our infrastructure is outdated and easy prey for ransom ware. Each administration kicked upgrades down to the incoming one
The USA feeds 85% of the population of the planet and I don't just mean humans, we also feed dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, alpaca, birds, bear, elk, deer, bobcat, etc. So, please tell me what jackass thinks it is wise to lay an oil pipeline through the breadbasket of the USA (which began leading in less than 6 months)? Iowa has the best soil on the planet and what do you idiots think will happen if we saturate that soil with crude? Since you cannot seem to find the answer with your overpriced college degrees, as a farm kid I will tell you: if you saturate the breadbasket with crude you will starve to death. Is this really what you want?
It was bound to happen. Internet is easy for some to hack.
never mind that Russians would make much better use of their time & energy attending to their ow back yard instead of futzing around with our stuff over here our air, food & water could very well be next
In the last year of the Trump (I just can't say the P word so I will call it the Trump shit show, he created numerous crises in his attempt fo distract everyone form the pandemic and his poor job approval, during which time I believe that our adversaries had plenty of room to usher in attacks on our infrastructure.
Currently, I am the most concerned about the aid to these terrorists being facilitated by Republican elected officials. We all can see the writing on the wall and it is clear Trump and his cronies left and continue to leave several back doors into our infrastructure open for Putin and friends. Meanwhile, Trump himself eludes prosecutors for charges that would be enough to have the average American citizen behind bars for the rest of their life. So long as Trump walks free, he continues to be an icon of every inequity plaguing our judicial system and the most significant national security threat facing this nation. Maybe Republicans goal in opposing infrastructure is to keep these back doors open for Putin? Putin’s goals to undermine our democracy are visible in everything Trump does politically. Donald J Trump is a traitor to this country and a threat to western democracies all over the world.
You know what? I saw a news clip that said Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers. Seriously!?! What the hell!?! If this is true it's disgusting! There is a way to bypass and block these hackers. A company I worked for got ransomware once and thanks to the IT department that ended as fast as it started. So you don't give in to the bullshit...you head it off and crush it.