Friday, 14 May 2021 16:21

Colonial Pipeline Paid $5M to Hackers Hours After the Attack

Written by Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering
Colonial Pipeline Paid $5M to Hackers Hours After the Attack matejmo/iStock


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The company responsible for the pipeline that carries almost half of the East Coast's fuel in the U.S. allegedly paid $5 million to ransomware hackers after a cyberattack May 7.

The company in question, Colonial Pipeline, initially responded by temporarily shutting down some of its online systems to contain the threat, as well as closing off its pipeline operations, sparking an emergency in the region.
To try and delay the effects of fuel shortages along the East Coast, the Biden Administration issued an order for gasoline truck drivers to work overtime May 10. The company also stated its pipeline would be back up and running in a few days' time, and in the meantime, fuel is being transported as quickly as possible to the required regions.


It turns out Colonial Pipeline ultimately resorted to paying the ransomware attackers millions of dollars, as Bloomberg first reported.


Typically, the FBI and the U.S. don't condone ransomware victims paying their hackers to get away from the issue. This case, however, might have been just too important to push back on perhaps. 


This ransomware cyberattack marks one of the largest cyberattacks on the oil and gas industry in the U.S. in history. 


The FBI confirmed the cyberattack was carried out by a hacker group that goes by the name of DarkSide. Little is currently known about this hacker group, but it's believed to be based in Russia, as NBC News reported.


This ransomware hacker group, like a number of others, holds...

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