US Colonial Pipeline Attack

The Colonial Pipeline company transports about 45% of petrol and diesel in the east coast of US. It was forced to shut down after a cyber attack by a group called “Darkside”. The pipeline originates in the Texas and carries gasoline to the South eastern states of the US.

Following the attack, the US President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency.

What happened?

On May 7, 2021, a hacker group called the “Darkside” targeted the pipeline. The hackers did not take control of the pipeline. However, the Colonial shut it down to prevent malware from spreading to the control systems of its industries. The company had paid 5 million USD in cryptocurrency for a software decryption key.

Darkside

  • The Darkside is a group that rents out ransomware to partners to perform the actual attacks.
  • According to the US President and several other US officials, the attackers lived in Russia.
  • The Darkside group had earlier cracked four other companies including Toshiba.
  • The group claimed that it is apolitical.
  • The cybersecurity firms in the US believe that the Darkside group has a code of conduct. According to the code, they do not conduct attacks against schools, hospitals, universities, organisations and government agencies.

Sunburst Cyber Attack

In 2020, a largescale cyber attack called “Sunburst” attacked the National Nuclear Security Administration. The NNSA is responsible for holding US nuclear weapons.

Oil Prices

After the attack, the oil prices increased to 69 USD per barrel.

Colonial Pipeline

  • It is the largest pipeline for refined oil products in the US. It consists of two tubes carrying three million barrels of fuels per day.
  • It is operated by the Colonial Pipeline company.
  • The pipeline had seven spills in four years.
  • In 2020, it faced one of the largest gasoline spills in a nature preserve in North Carolina.
  • In 1978, the Colonial became the first company to use Geodesic Domes. A Geodesic dome is a structure with triangular elements built to withstand heavy loads.

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