As Americans headed into Mother’s Day weekend, hackers coordinated ”the worst cyberattack to date on critical U.S. infrastructure.”
What To Know
Why It Matters
The Target: A company (Colonial Pipeline) that operates a major U.S. pipeline - the "largest refined products pipeline" in the country - transporting products like gasoline, jet fuel, and home heating oil.
Why It Matters: Colonial Pipeline transports 100 million gallons of fuel A DAY, delivering nearly half of the fuel that's consumed on the East Coast.
What Happened: Hackers infiltrated the company's computer network.
Term To Know
“Ransomware is absolutely out of control and one of the biggest threats we face as a nation.”
Cybersecurity expert David Kennedy, TrustedSec, on ransomware (aka "cyberextortion") - when criminals take over a computer system and hold it hostage, only returning access when owners pay a high fee, and possibly steal data for future use or sale.
- On Monday, the FBI confirmed hackers associated with a criminal group called “DarkSide” is "responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks."
- Unclear who did what, and when. Colonial says it "proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat." Either way, business & fuel distribution was disrupted.
- The federal government loosened restrictions to transport oil by tanker truck because of the potential threat of fuel shortages.
"It's an all-hands-on-deck effort right now. And we are working closely with the company, state and local officials to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren't disruptions in supply."
Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo, Sunday May 9th, on the DarkSide Colonial Pipeline attack. Days earlier, the Sec. of the Dept. of Homeland Security said ransomware attacks increased 300% over the last year with $350 million of ransom paid: "The threat is not tomorrow's threat, but it is upon us."
May 10, 2021sources