Colonial Pipeline System Pays $5 Million to a Crypto-Ransomware Gang
It was on Saturday when the Colonial Pipeline System Company had held an emergency press conference shocking the entire country (US). The company revealed that it had been a victim of a cyber-attack and as a result, it shut down the pipeline system.
This led to a shortage of oil, gas, diesel, and jet fuel in a major part of the country. The Colonial Pipeline System revealed it had faced a cyber-attack on Friday. The hackers that attacked its system did it for the purpose of ransomware.
Therefore, the Colonial Pipeline System had acquired the services of a cyber-security firm as well as the support of local federal authorities. Until Thursday, May 13, it was reported by the Colonial Pipeline Company that it was investigating the matter.
The company stated that it would keep the major pipelines ceased until the investigation was complete on the attack. The pipelines being closed for almost a week meant that the local gas stations in the 5,500 miles area would be taking huge damage.
The company is responsible for delivering millions of barrels of gas, diesel, jet fuel, and oil to all industries that need their engines running in a 5,500 miles radius.
The analysts had started speculating that if the pipelines were not opened, then the locals would also see the price of gas go up by $3 in the area.
Based on the above speculations, the Colonial Pipeline System had to take the harsh step of paying the ransomware gang. While the sources claim that the hackers had demanded $5 million in ransom, yet the company has given $5 million to the hackers.
This seems to be making one thing very clear that Colonial Pipeline did not shut down the pipelines in the first place. As the sources reveal, the ransomware gang who demanded money to re-launch the services had shut down the systems.
As the situation became dire, the Colonial Pipeline System had no choice but to pay the gang around $5 million to reinstate the services.
According to the cyber-security team investigating the matter, the Darkside Gang is behind the Colonial Pipeline System cyber-attack. Further investigation in the matter has hinted that the hackers were from Eastern Europe and they had demanded the payment in cryptocurrencies.
Initially, the Colonial Pipeline System Company had claimed that it was not going to do as the hackers say. It assured that it was going to get to the bottom of the case and find the culprits behind the hack and bring them to justice.
However, it seems that the hackers knew exactly what they were doing and how they were going to take care of the hack. Therefore, the oil company had to give in to their demands and pay them what they had demanded. Since then, the pipelines have been re-instated that the area is back up again with fuel supplies.