Saturday, June 19, 2021

Colonial Pipeline hack: What we know so far

Must Read

Declaration of Juneteenth holiday sparks scramble in states | World News

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp Congress and President Joe Biden acted with unusual...

With the challenges faced during the pandemic, these mothers found a new way; Changed home, city and job to fulfill dreams | महामारी के...

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp InternationalWith The Challenges Faced During The Pandemic, These...

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp

Ransom-seeking hackers have broken into Colonial Pipeline, prompting the company to shut one of America’s major arteries for fuel delivery.

Here is a look at what we know, and what we don’t, about one of the most disruptive digital shakedown efforts to hit a US company.

Who is involved ?

Alpharetta, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline and the US government have both blamed ransomware for the massive outage, pointing the finger at cybercriminal gangs who routinely hold data and computer networks hostage in exchange for digital currency payments.

There is no official word on which group is believed to have carried out the intrusion – and attributing malicious activity online can be extremely difficult – but a former US official and three industry sources told Reuters a group dubbed “DarkSide” was among the suspects. If so, that would lay the responsibility on a new but professional group of criminals believed to be operating out of the former Soviet republics.

Cybersecurity FireEye is involved with the incident response, according to three industry sources.

How bad is it ?

Ransomware can deal catastrophic damage to an organization’s network by locking away critical data or even wrecking computers beyond repair. But the effect on the actual nuts and bolts of energy companies’ operations varies.

A destructive cyberattack on Saudi Aramco in 2012 crippled the oil giant’s computer network but left production more-or-less unscathed. By contrast, a more recent ransomware incident at Norsk Hydro temporarily pushed the aluminum maker to switch away from automated production at its smelters.

Experts say the severity of the Colonial case will depend on whether the ransomware made its way into the company’s operational technology network, which interfaces with the pipeline itself. Earlier this year, US government officials announced that an intrusion at an unnamed natural gas compression plant that spilled over into its operational technology network forced a two-day shut down of its entire pipeline.

Colonial has not given any public indication as to the reach of the ransomware outbreak, but Robert M. Lee, chief executive of cybersecurity firm Dragos, said he believed Colonial’s operations network was shut down proactively “to make sure that nothing spread into those systems.”

He said that will hopefully translate to “a temporary outage versus something that would be more sustained.”

What happens next ?

US government officials are working with Colonial to help it recover while scrambling to avoid more severe fuel supply disruptions should the outage continue.

Colonial’s pipeline network serves major US airports, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the world’s busiest by passenger traffic, and experts say regional fuel supplies could be impacted if the pipeline stays shut.

“A one-to-two-day outage is really a minor inconvenience,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. But by day four or five, he said, “we could see a much greater widespread impact through large areas throughout the mid-Atlantic and the southeast.”

Whether the pipeline stays shut that long in turn depends on how deeply the hackers penetrated Colonial’s network – and how soon cybersecurity experts can pull them out.

For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook or Whatsapp or follow us on Twitter and Linkedin. Read more on Latest India News on Smart Newsline



Latest News

Neena Gupta on why she did not marry someone while pregnant with Masaba: ‘I was still attached to Vivian’ | Bollywood

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp Neena Gupta opened up about her decision to not enter into a marriage...

Salman Khan Ajay Devgn | Ajay Devgn Digital Debut and Salman Khan Remake Films and More Latest Udpate | वेब सीरीज ‘रूद्र’ के लिए...

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp जुलाई में अजय देवगन अपने डिजिटल डेब्यू शो 'रूद्र : द एज ऑफ...

Neena Gupta regrets not asking her father about his second marriage: ‘Now there’s nobody to tell me’ | Bollywood

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp Neena Gupta has said that she was surprised by how little she knew...

Priyanka Chopra reveals her ‘summer tattoo’, dedicates new ink to her pet dogs. See pic | Bollywood

For breaking news and live news updates, Join us on Whatsapp Priyanka Chopra Jonas has got a new tattoo and she revealed it on...

More Articles Like This