Colonial Pipeline was reportedly forced to hand over five million dollars in ransom in a bid to restore functionality to its east coast pipeline after it was hacked by a group calling itself DarkSide who is believed to be located in Eastern Europe.
As Bloomberg reports:
The company paid the hefty ransom in difficult-to-trace cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, those people said. A third person familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment.
Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.
A representative from Colonial declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the National Security Council. Colonial said it began to resume fuel shipments around 5 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday.
The hackers, which the FBI said are linked to a group called DarkSide, specialize in digital extortion and are believed to be located in Russia or Eastern Europe.
The news contradicts earlier reports and statements from the company which indicated that they had refused to pay any ransom to the group.
Our intelligence services need to focus on determining the individuals or nation who did this and well, just kill ’em all. If the UN delivers nothing of value to this outrage, terminate its presence in the U.S. We constantly hear about the evils of isolationism but it seems when the U.S. is victimized, nobody stands with us.
It’s another one way arrangement. If the perpetrators aren’t individually named but their home nation is, terminate diplomatic relations with that nation until they catch the hackers. Colonial made it so easy for them, they’ll be back for another payday. Five million is chump change for Colonial and the bad guys will increase the damage next time.
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