Tuesday, June 15

Colonial: The FBI accuses a gang of ‘hackers’ to attack one of the main oil pipeline networks in the US | International


Fuel tanks at a Colonial plant in Charlotte (North Carolina), this Monday.
Fuel tanks at a Colonial plant in Charlotte (North Carolina), this Monday.DRONE BASE / Reuters

The FBI confirmed that the criminal group known as DarkSide was responsible for the massive cyberattack suffered last weekend by Colonial, one of the largest oil pipeline networks in the United States, and that it has affected the supply of crude oil. The attack occurred a few days after the White House presented what it intends to be its cybersecurity roadmap in the Administration, which may fall short in cases like this.

Colonial supplies crude from Houston (Texas) to large population centers in the eastern and southern United States, including the New York metropolitan region, hence the severity of the attack. Its energy supply is especially important on the east coast of the country, accounting for almost half of the transportation of fuel in that area. The White House is confident that the company will resume operations by the end of this week. Despite initial fears, the president, Joe Biden, assured that there is no proof that Russia is behind the attack and ruled out canceling his next meeting with Vladimir Putin, scheduled for June.

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“The FBI confirms that DarkSide he is responsible for the cyber kidnapping of data that compromised the Colonial pipeline network, ”the agency said in a statement. “We continue to work on the investigation with the company and our partners in government,” concluded the FBI. The White House, Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy are working to ensure that the supply interruption is as short as possible.

The interruption of supply adds upward pressure to the price of fuels. In addition, at the end of the month the day of remembrance of the fallen is celebrated –Memorial Day-, a holiday that usually causes millions of trips and the consequent rise in the price of gasoline.

According to sources in the investigation cited by the US media, DarkSide is a criminal network located in Eastern Europe that took 100 gigabytes of information from Colonial in a few hours. After the attack, the company received a ransom request – of which the figure is not known – which, if not paid, would have the consequence that the company would never again have access to its data and would make part of it public. of them on the internet. This Monday the hackers They assured in a statement that their intention was not to “create problems” for citizens.

The attack on Colonial comes just before the president of the United States unveils regulations this week to strengthen the cybersecurity of federal agencies and the companies that outsource to them. Although the cyber attack on Colonial raises doubts as to whether the presidential order does not fall short, because it shows that attacks on a private company can end up causing the collapse of transportation in the country.

The hack on Colonial has shown, once again, the great vulnerability of the United States in terms of cyberattacks. In fact, the order introduced this week is intended to set the nation’s cyber defense roadmap, with a series of digital directives for federal agencies and contractors to develop. software for the US Government. For example, a double authentication code will be imposed – such as that used by consumers when they must enter a code for a bank or a purchase when they log on to the web – and the law of “Zero trust” to those who sell software, leaving them only access to federal systems when strictly necessary.

Joe Biden’s White House decided to take action after the massive cyberattack, the one with the traces of Russia, which spied for months last year – with Donald Trump as president – on numerous government departments. So the hackers used updates to a program that all departments use, created by a Texas company, Solarwinds, to break into systems and steal information.

DarkSide is relatively new to the cyber kidnapping world. Born in August of last year, she is estimated to have pocketed between $ 200,000 and $ 2 million from her extortions. DarkSide is considered a Robin Hood of hackers, as it prides itself on a code of conduct that does not attack hospitals, schools, non-profit companies or government agencies.

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