US fuel pipeline operator races to restore supply after cyberattack

US fuel pipeline operator races to restore supply after cyberattack

2021-05-10 12:43:00 AM

US fuel pipeline operator races to restore supply after cyberattack

US government steps in to help after attack blamed on DarkSide cybercrime group cripples supply network

Laila KearneyHolding tanks at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction operations in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the US. Picture: COLONIAL PIPELINE/REUTERSUS government officials were working closely with top US fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline on Sunday to help it recover from a ransomware cyberattack that forced the company to shut a critical fuel network supplying populous eastern states.

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The attack is one of the most disruptive digital ransom operations reported and has prompted calls from US legislators to tighten protections for critical US energy infrastructure against hackers.Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said Washington was working to avoid more severe fuel supply disruptions and to help Colonial restart as quickly as possible its more than 8,850km pipeline network from Texas to New Jersey.

“It's an all hands on deck effort right now,” Raimondo told CBS. “We are working closely with the company, state and local officials, to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren't disruptions in supply.”

Colonial said on Saturday it was “continuing to monitor the impact of this temporary service halt” and to work to restore service. Neither Raimondo nor the company gave an estimate for a restart date and Colonial declined further comment on Sunday.Colonial transports roughly 2.5-million barrels per day of petrol and other fuels from refiners on the Gulf Coast to consumers in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern US.

Its extensive pipeline network serves major US airports, including Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the world's busiest by passenger traffic.Retail fuel experts including the American Automobile Association said an outage lasting several days could have a significant affect on regional fuel supplies, particularly in the southeastern US.

While the US government investigation is in the early stages, a former US official and two industry sources said the hackers are likely a professional cybercriminal group and that a group called DarkSide was among potential suspects.DarkSide is known for deploying ransomware and extorting victims while avoiding targets in post-Soviet states. Ransomware is a type of malware designed to lock down systems by encrypting data and demanding payment to regain access.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye has also been brought in to respond to the attack, according to the two industry sources. FireEye declined to comment.Colonial has said it was working with a “leading, third-party cybersecurity firm”, but did not name the firm.

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Bloomberg News, citing people familiar with the matter, reported late on Saturday that the hackers are part of DarkSide and took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial's network on Thursday ahead of the pipeline shutdown.Messages left with the DarkSide hackers were not immediately returned. The group's dark website, where hackers regularly post data about victims, made no reference to Colonial Pipeline.

Colonial declined to comment on whether DarkSide hackers were involved in the attack, when the breach occurred or what ransom they demanded.President Joe Biden was briefed on the cyberattack on Saturday morning, the White House said, adding that the government was working to try to help the company restore operations and prevent supply disruptions.

Another fuel pipeline serving the same regions carries a third of what Colonial does. Any prolonged outage would require tankers to transport fuels from the US Gulf Coast to East Coast ports.The privately held, Georgia-based company is owned by CDPQ Colonial Partners, Colonial Pipeline 2 LLC, KKR-Keats Pipeline Investors, Koch Capital Investments Company and Shell Midstream Operating.

Petrol futures and diesel futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Friday after the outage was reported. In previous Colonial outages, retail prices have risen substantially, if briefly.Oil refining companies on Saturday said their operations had not yet been affected. Some were monitoring developments and working to find alternative transport for customers.

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FBI: DarkSide group behind ransomware hacking of US Colonial PipelineAt the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said President Joe Biden was being kept updated on the incident, which threatened to crimp supplies of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel across much of the eastern United States.

Major US pipeline targeted in cyber attackThe largest fuel pipeline system in the United States was forced to shut down its entire network after a cyber attack, the company said in a statement

Top US pipeline operator shuts major fuel line after cyber attackTop US fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline has shut its entire network after a cyber attack, the company said in a statement on Friday. Thank God for bringing bitcoin to man,it has being a great source of blessing to all of man kind who have passion for bitcoin trading. Now the poor are getting rich over night and the rich getting richer. Nancy_P7 thank you for your proper management .

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