Ransomware Attack Shuts Down Major U.S. Pipeline
As news spread yesterday of the ransomware attack on a major U.S. pipeline, one major news outlet described ransomware as a relatively new type of cyberattack.
Ransomware has been around since at least 2012, so it’s difficult to describe a nine-year-old problem as “new.” Also, the number of ransomware attacks grew by 150 percent in 2020, with the average ransom demand coming in at $170,000.
Ransomware reached a new level of disruption Monday as the Colonial Pipeline – which delivers 45 percent of the fuel consumed along the Eastern Seaboard – entered its third day of a shutdown. The hack was carried about by a cybercriminal gang known as DarkSide that considers itself a modern–day Robin Hood – they steal from corporations and donate some of the ransom to charity.
Colonial – a private, Georgia-based firm – expects to have service mostly restored by the end of this week. That’s a lofty goal for the worst cyberattack to date on critical U.S. infrastructure.
The White House has denied that there will be a fuel shortage due to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, but a week without nearly half the fuel the East Coast needs is quite a burden for American infrastructure.
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