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Cyber-Attack Shuts Down One of the Largest Gasoline Pipelines in US

Posted on May 10, 2021

Ransomware attacks. How can you prevent them? How do you make sure your organization does not fall victim to these hackers? 

On Friday May 7th, the top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline, the source of nearly half of the U.S. East Coast’s fuel supply, shut down its whole network after falling victim to a ransomware attack. 

It is believed a Russian ransom company who identifies themselves as DarkSide, are responsible for the latest attack on Colonial Pipeline. "DarkSide is known for deploying ransomware and extorting victims, while selectively avoiding targets in post-Soviet states." 

In a statement, Colonial Pipeline said:

On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.

Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline.

In addition to the direct effect this cyberattack has on Colonial Pipeline, the shutdown has raised fears of a price spike in gas throughout the country.  With summer just around the corner and people starting to feel more comfortable with traveling, gas prices may increase just in time for the US driving summer season. Talk about bad timing. 

"We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations," said Colonial in its Sunday evening statement.

Cyberattacks are starting to happen more often to major economic targets. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to make sure your companies information is safe. 

The world of IT security is a scary place, and it seems like the bad guys are winning. Every week it seems we hear of another severe data breach, or a new piece of malware wreaking havoc in the IT world. 

Businesses of all sizes experience security issues today. Your company IS a target, and an attack on your business can put you out of business.

No IT service provider can promise you’ll never get hacked, but here's what we can do:

  • Provide you with the best tools we can find
  • Deploy them intelligently to reduce the chances an attacker will get through
  • Limit the damage malware can do if you are hacked
  • Respond quickly to eliminate any problems that occur

Sources: The Epoch Times 

Tagged General, technology, Ransomware, Security Threats, Cyberthieves, Apogee, scams, 2021, hacker

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