Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack
Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: A major pipeline system operator said on Saturday that it had been victimized by a ransomware attack and had halted all pipeline operations to deal with the threat. The pipeline system transports fuel across the East Coast. The attack is unlikely to affect gasoline price and supply unless it leads to a prolonged shutdown of the pipeline, according to experts.

Colonial Pipeline didn’t say who made the demand and what was demanded. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out by hackers with criminal intention who scramble data, paralyzing victim networks, and demand a large payment to decrypt it.

The attack on the company, which says it delivers roughly forty five percent of fuel consumed on the East Coast of the US, underscores again the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to damaging ransomware attack like this that threaten to impede operations.

It presents a new challenge for the Joe Biden administration, which is still dealing with its response to major hacks from months ago, including a massive breach of corporations and government agencies for which the US sanctioned Russia last month.

In this case, Colonial Pipeline said in a statement that the ransomware attack on Friday affected some of its information technology systems and that the company moved “proactively” to take certain systems offline, halting pipeline operations.

In an earlier statement, the company said it was “taking steps to understand and resolve this issue” with an eye toward returning to normal operations.

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