Major US oil pipeline organization, Colonial Pipeline had recently fallen victim to a massive ransomware attack by Darkside ransomware that forced them to shut down network systems and pipeline operations.
The aftereffects of the ransomware attack and the organizational shutdown also lead to a gas shortage in the eastern region of the country.
Massive ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline:
Colonial Pipeline ships gasoline and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the populous East Coast through 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of the pipeline, serving 50 million consumers across the country.
Following the ransomware attack, the pipeline organization remained shut down for two days after the cyberattack was detected.
Subsequently, an FBI investigation was initiated for the large-scale ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline and confirmed that the ransomware attack was indeed perpetrated by the Darkside ransomware gang.
“The FBI confirms that the DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks,” stated the agency. “We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation.”
According to the White House press briefing held on Monday, Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology noted that the FBI has been on the trail of the Darkside ransomware gang since October 2020 that deploys the cyberattack in the form of ransomware-as-a-service.
Joe Biden addresses links to Russian operatives:
What is to be noted, however, is that the DarkSide ransomware group has been linked to Russian operatives, with multiple news reports covering the ties.
President Joe Biden has since addressed the allegations, providing that currently, there is no evidence suggesting the Russian involvement.
However, the American president also notes that “there is evidence that the actors [behind the ransomware are] in Russia, [so] they have some responsibility to deal with this.”
DarkSide Ransomware says no political stance:
With the allegations gaining traction, DarkSide issued their own statements under the title “About the latest news,” stating that they want to coin money and not cause societal problems.
“We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for our motives,” the statement said. “Our goal is to make money, and not create problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”