On May 7, 2021, Colonial pipelines went through one of the biggest cyber attacks. The hackers broke into the computer system that eventually impacted the computerized equipment. The attack was a ransom ware attack, where the hackers named Darkside demanded a ransom of 75 bit coins ($4.4 million). Colonial pipelines accepted to pay the ransom money because that was the best option for the country.
The largest pipeline system in the US for refined oil products is the colonial pipeline. The construction of the company began in 1962 and its headquarter is in Alpharetta, Georgia. On the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, an 8900km long pipeline terminates at the port of New York and New Jersey. Colonial pipeline delivers 10000000 gallons of gasoline, heating oil’s, refined petroleum oils, to businesses throughout the east and south coast. About 45% of the fuel consumed on the east coast is derived from colonial pipelines.
Anyways colonial pipeline was under threat when a cyber-attack broke into the data of the company in 2021. On 29th April 2021, through a virtual private network (VPN) that the employees used to work remotely, the hackers got a hold of the password and the user name that helped them to access the information and data. It is only possible if the employee has used the same password to access another account that was hacked in the past.
Facts about the attack:
- The cyber attack was made open to the public on the 8th of May, 2021, at 12:30 pm.
- Colonial pipeline started to shut down their online system.
- While the data and information were restoring, the gas supply was limited.
- The Colonial pipeline involved the law and also took help from a third party during the recovery.
- People panicked because of this attack which created a shortage of gas in the country.
- The malicious attackers were named Darkside.
- Colonial pipelines paid a ransom of 75 bit coins ($4.4 million)
- Darkside lost access to information about the infrastructure and funds.
- The data was restored on the 13th of May, 2021, and the system started running online again.