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Colonial Pipeline paid ransomware hackers $5 million, U.S. official says


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Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers who shut down some of its networks nearly $5 million in ransom, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said Thursday.

News of the payment was first reported by Bloomberg. The U.S. official did not say how or when the company paid.

Colonial, which operates the country’s largest fuel pipeline, announced it had been hacked Friday, and shut down all four of its major pipelines that serve the Eastern and Southeastern United States as a precaution. Gas prices rose, and some stations ran out of fuel. The Department of Transportation issued an emergency order allowing truckers driving fuel in affected states to work longer hours than federal regulations normally allow.

The company announced Wednesdaythat it was resuming operations.

The FBI has historically discouraged, but not prohibited, American ransomware victims from paying hackers, as a payment isn’t guaranteed to work and can encourage criminals to continue attacking others. In a press conference Monday, Anne Neuberger, the White House’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, acknowledged that some organizations might find paying the criminals off can be in their best interest.

“We recognize, though, that companies are often in a difficult position if their data is encrypted and they do not have backups and cannot recover the data,” she said.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Thursday, Neuberger said the White House’s advice remains that victims do not pay the ransom.

The hackers, known as DarkSide, are one of a number of ransomware groups that hold organizations’ files hostage and demand a payment, either by locking their files and making them unusable or threatening to release them to the public.

DarkSide, like many ransomware gangs, are believed to operate in Russia, and their ransomware program is designed to shut down if they infect computers that work in the Russian language.

DarkSide in particular is notorious for providing victims who pay with a decryption program that works painfully slowly, said Brett Callow, an analyst at the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft.

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JusKeepBreathin
Posted (edited)

Thanks to 45 for creating a f_cking circus and making the US the equivalent of a third world country in cyber security. 

Guess where all our f_cking information lives.  This craziness happened over a crude oil pipeline. What's going to happen with they shut off our power. 

Edited by JusKeepBreathin
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -Martin Luther King Jr.
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homomo

Interesting, the Irish Health Service had a ransomware attack today too.

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Economy
2 hours ago, JusKeepBreathin said:

Thanks to 45 for creating a f_cking circus and making the US the equivalent of a third world country in cyber security. 

Guess where all our f_cking information lives.  This craziness happened over a crude oil pipeline. What's going to happen with they shut off our power. 

Im trying to understand how this happens tho. I figured more modern pipelines have more ditigal controla than the old fashioned mechanical valves...

 

But is there THAT much computerization in it that a hack can shut it down? I didnt realize pipelines were that digital :huh:

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JusKeepBreathin
13 hours ago, Economy said:

Im trying to understand how this happens tho. I figured more modern pipelines have more ditigal controla than the old fashioned mechanical valves...

 

But is there THAT much computerization in it that a hack can shut it down? I didnt realize pipelines were that digital :huh:

Me neither. It's crazy how adavnce we are but also how far behind we are from certain other countries. People are afraid of minorities, xenophobia and war but the real enemies will be hackers from now on. IMO

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -Martin Luther King Jr.
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Economy
3 hours ago, JusKeepBreathin said:

Me neither. It's crazy how adavnce we are but also how far behind we are from certain other countries. People are afraid of minorities, xenophobia and war but the real enemies will be hackers from now on. IMO

Hackers arent politicized like minority issues and foreigners are... anything that is politicized has a tendency to get disproportionate attention relative to reality or at the very least in relation to other issues that are at least just as big. I think this is true for all political sides

 

In this case conservatives politicize foreigners inba xenophobic way... while terrorist attacks or problems created by immigrants is tiny and trivial compared to much larger threats (like cyber security)... it gets a lot of attention spun by racist bigots and thus turned into a bigger situation than it truly is :bear:

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JusKeepBreathin
Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Economy said:

Hackers arent politicized like minority issues and foreigners are... anything that is politicized has a tendency to get disproportionate attention relative to reality or at the very least in relation to other issues that are at least just as big. I think this is true for all political sides

 

In this case conservatives politicize foreigners inba xenophobic way... while terrorist attacks or problems created by immigrants is tiny and trivial compared to much larger threats (like cyber security)... it gets a lot of attention spun by racist bigots and thus turned into a bigger situation than it truly is :bear:

Hackers weren't politicized. Not true. Julian Assange was heavily politicized but the left doesn't like to create boogie men like the right does and wiki leaks was the hero for them in the 2016 election and QAnon is heavily politized by the right. Unfortunaltey those fools are making hackers look like heros while keep our cyber security weak. Let's put it this way Trump's view of hackers is the was the same as Covid-19. In other words, Not a big deal  Meanwhile randomly attacks are happening all over the US.

Turns out the boogie men are white guys from Russia. 

Edited by JusKeepBreathin
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -Martin Luther King Jr.
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