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Hackers ‘launched cyberattacks on more than 24 other companies’ after Colonial Pipeline shutdown


Hackers were able to launch cyberattacks on more than 24 other companies across a range of industries after shutting down the Colonial Pipeline, according to reports. 

At least two dozen other victims – which have not been named – were also affected by the ransomware attack, Bloomberg reported. They were helped by private-sector companies and US agencies who helped disrupt the hack, the news agency said.  

The 5,500 mile Colonial Pipeline was shut down on Friday evening by the company when the ransomware attack was launched – seemingly by Russian-based cybercriminal group, DarkSide. Service was gradually being restored on Monday.

But gas stations from Florida to Atlanta to Virginia are closing their pumps due to a fuel shortage brought on by the Colonial Pipeline hack – and a state of emergency has been declared by the governor of North Carolina

On Monday DarkSide posted an apology on the dark web, Vice reported, and said they did not want ‘social consequences’, nor did they seek political influence.  

White House officials have warned the attack shows just how vulnerable the US is to such events. President Joe Biden said Monday: ‘We need to invest to safeguard our critical infrastructure.’ 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the attack ‘tells you how utterly vulnerable we are’ to cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure.  

And Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned that technological attacks such as these were ‘here to stay.’

‘This is what businesses now have to worry about,’ she said. ‘Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent… and we have to work in partnership with business to secure networks to defend ourselves.’ 

Hackers were able to launch cyberattacks on more than 24 other companies across a range of industries during Colonial Pipeline shutdown, according to reports

At least two dozen other victims - who have not been named - were also affected by the ransomware attack, Bloomberg reported Monday. They were helped by private-sector companies and US agencies who helped disrupt the hack.

At least two dozen other victims – who have not been named – were also affected by the ransomware attack, Bloomberg reported Monday. They were helped by private-sector companies and US agencies who helped disrupt the hack.

The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey and carries 100 million gallons of fuel daily

The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey and carries 100 million gallons of fuel daily

What is DarkSide? 

DarkSide is a group of hackers which first emerged in August 2020, with a press release declaring their formation.

Since then, they have become known for their professional operations and large ransoms. 

The group has a phone number and even a help desk to facilitate negotiations with victims. 

Believed to be based in Russia, they have targeted Enterprise rental cars, Canadian real estate firm Brookfield Residential, and an Office Depot subsidiary.

They have publicly stated that they prefer not to attack hospitals, schools, non-profits, and governments, but rather big organizations that can afford to pay large ransoms. 

‘Before any attack, we carefully analyze your accountancy and determine how much you can pay based on your net income,’ the press release reads. 

They avoid targets in former Soviet states. 

Government officials said in a statement late Monday that it was monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and that President Joe Biden had directed federal agencies to bring their resources to bear.   

The attack came as the administration, still grappling with its response to massive breaches by Russia of federal agencies and private corporations, works on an executive order aimed at bolstering cybersecurity defenses. 

The Justice Department, meanwhile, has formed a ransomware task force designed for situations just like Colonial Pipeline, and the Energy Department on April 20 announced a 100-day initiative focused on protecting energy infrastructure from cyber threats. 

Similar actions are planned for other critical industries, such as water and natural gas.

Ransomware gangs collected almost $350 million last year, up threefold from 2019, according to members of a public-private group called the Ransomware Task Force. 

The pipeline supplies 45 per cent of all the East Coast’s fuel needs, including Atlanta’s airport – the world’s busiest, by passenger traffic. The pipeline also serves 90 U.S. military installations and 26 oil refineries.

On Monday evening motorists were beginning to report shortages at gas stations.

The pipeline, the largest in United States, is responsible for transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel – 2.5 million barrels – daily through pipelines laid out between Texas and New Jersey. 

Emergency shipments of gasoline and diesel from Texas already are on the way to Atlanta and other southeast cities via trucks. 

The hack is thought to have been carried out by DarkSide, a Russian-based hacking group.

On Monday the group posted an apology on the dark web, Vice reported, and said they did not want ‘social consequences’, nor did they seek political influence.

‘We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other our motives,’ they wrote. 

‘Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society. 

‘From today, we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.’ 

Gas stations in Atlanta were suffering from shortages on Monday as a result of the hack

Gas stations in Atlanta were suffering from shortages on Monday as a result of the hack

Newt Gingrich on Monday night said Joe Biden should be authorized to ‘order the killings of anybody overseas’ who was found to be behind attacks on America’s infrastructure, describing the cyberhack of the Colonial Pipeline as ‘an act of war’. 

Gingrich said that the United States needed more power to go after those responsible.

‘On the national security part, we ought to pass a law immediately that makes this kind of hacking subject to a death penalty and the law should include a provision that the president, through a judicial process, should be able to order the killings of anybody overseas who is doing this,’ he told Sean Hannity on Fox News. 

‘It’s an act of war against the United States to do stuff like this.’ 

President Biden said on Monday that there US intelligence hasn’t found any ties between the attack and the Russian government but said there was evidence DarkSide was based in Russia.

‘They have some responsibility to deal with this,’ Biden said, adding that he would be meeting with President Putin soon.



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