The FBI confirms Russian hackers in ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline


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The federal government is stepping up to help an operator of a large U.S. pipeline system that shut down on Friday after a ransomware attack by computer hackers from Russia.

FBI confirmed On Monday, DarkSide, a professional Russian criminal group, was responsible for the attack. The group itself said its goal is to make money, not cause chaos, Reuters reported.

The amount of money was not disclosed.

The colonial pipeline transports gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast and delivers about 45% of the fuel the East Coast uses for driving and flying. The company told Reuters it expected “substantial” continue working by the end of the week.

If left closed, it could limit fuel availability and cause gasoline and jet fuel prices to rise as the economy recovers from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $ 2.97 on Monday, up 1 cent from Sunday and 7 cents from a week ago, the AAA said.

Ministry of Transport announced On Monday that it temporarily eased rules on truck fuel transportation, allowing drivers in 18 states to work more hours.

In a ransomware attack, hackers attack the company’s computer system, encrypt data and freeze operations, and then demand payment to release control.

Georgia-based colonial pipeline did not release details, but said the attack affected some of them information technology systems, according to the Associated Press. Those systems were under repair on Sunday and Monday.

The hackers took more than 100 gigabytes of data from a cloud computing system, Reuters reported.

Colonial said some of its side or smaller pipelines between the terminal and delivery stations were put back into operation on Sunday.

Oil market analysts told BBC that refineries in Texas stored a lot of fuel. Tennessee and Georgia would be the first states affected if the pipeline remained closed.

Founded in 1962, Colonial transports 2.5 million barrels of petroleum products per day, including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heating oil for households and fuel for the U.S. military.

The pipeline system serves a number of major U.S. airports, including Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, which is considered the busiest airport in the country based on passenger traffic, Reuters reported.

Other airports include those in Baltimore-Washington; Nashville; and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina.

Cyber ​​attacks and ransomware demands have increased in recent years. Monthly attacks on government, manufacturing and other sites and activity data:

A cyber attack stops the main oil pipeline. Will there be a shortage of gas and a rise in prices?

Gas station prices are often based on these five factors, which are constantly changing.

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SOURCE USA TODAY Network Reporting and Research; Associated Press; Reuters; U.S. Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency

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