Sign for the Colonial Pipeline in Baltimore, Maryland
Photo: JIM WATSON / AFP
The US Federal Police FBI has blamed a hacker group called Darkside for the cyber attack on the largest pipeline in the country. The FBI said on Monday that the ransomware was used by Darkside in the hacker attack on the operator Colonial Pipeline. With such malware, hackers try to lock or encrypt computer systems and extort money from users for releasing the data. A senior White House representative, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, said President Joe Biden was regularly briefed on the incident. So far, no damage has been reported and there is no petrol shortage.
The Georgia-based company Colonial Pipeline announced on Saturday that it was the target of a hacker attack. After the attack, the company's entire pipeline network was temporarily shut down. Colonial Pipeline announced on Monday that the network would be gradually brought back into operation. A return to normal operation will take time.
The Colonial Pipeline is the largest pipeline in the USA in terms of transported volume.
Every day more than 2.5 million barrels (one barrel is 159 liters) of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other petroleum products flow through the pipelines.
The pipeline, which stretches for 5500 miles (around 8,850 kilometers) underground for the most part, connects refineries located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico with the southern and eastern United States.
The company transports approximately 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the east coast and supplies more than 50 million Americans.
Customers also include the US armed forces.
After the hacker attack, the US government declared a regional emergency on Sunday.
No evidence of Russian involvement
President Joe Biden said, “I'm going to meet with President Putin.
At this point in time, our secret service has no evidence;
that Russia is involved.
However, there is evidence that the ransomware originated in Russia «.
In so-called ransomware attacks, data on computers is encrypted - and the attackers usually demand a ransom for the release.
Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger told the White House that the government had no information on whether the pipeline operator had paid the extortionists a ransom.
In the case of an attack with the Darkside software, the profits are usually shared between the program developers and the attackers.
kim / dpa / AFP / Reuters