Fuel Pipeline Hackers Say They Want Cash, Not To ‘Create Problems’

Fuel Pipeline Hackers Say They Want Cash, Not To ‘Create Problems’

Hackers behind the recent cyberattack on a fuel pipeline have said that they want cash and do not want to create problems in the community after President Biden issued an emergency warning for critical infrastructure. 

The hackers responsible for the pipeline cyberattack have issued a statement reiterating their position that the ransomware attack was purely for cash, rather than “creating problems for society.” 

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The FBI believes that the fuel pipeline hackers are members of a ransomware gang called DarkSide that is known to hold organisations and institutions to ransom, while making access to their networks once a breach occurs possible – for a fee. 

The FBI says it is confident that Darkside was responsible for the fuel pipeline hack, and that it will work with the pipeline’s operator, Colonial Pipeline, as well as government agencies in their investigation of the hacking collective. 

Darkside issued a rare statement yesterday stating that “our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society,” in response to the latest hack on a fuel pipeline on the east coast of America. 

Interestingly, the ransomware gang said it would run a number of accountability checks of its members to ensure they are acting responsibly, so the gang can “avoid consequences in the future.”

“From today, we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future,” they wrote. 

Darkside reiterated that the hacking collective responsible for the fuel pipeline shutdown are “apolitical” and requested that the public “do not need to tie us” with any particular sovereign state. 

“We do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for our motives,” they wrote. 

In that hack, Darkside accessed the network of its operator Colonial Pipeline, and caused a shutdown of the 8850km stretch of infrastructure. The pipeline carries more than 2.5 million barrels of fuel each day to 14 states, transporting petroleum, diesel and jet fuel. 

The pipeline transports more than 45% of the fuel on America’s east coast. 

The BBC is reporting that “the gang stole almost 100 gigabytes of data hostage, threatening to leak it onto the internet, but the FBI and other government agencies worked with private companies to respond. The cloud computing system the hackers used to collect the stolen data was taken offline on Saturday.” 

Fuel Pipeline Hackers Say They Want Cash, Not To ‘Create Problems’

Fuel Pipeline Hackers Say They Want Cash, Not To ‘Create Problems’

The operator, Colonial Pipeline has issued a statement over the weekend saying that after “quickly after learning of the attack, Colonial proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems, which we are actively in the process of restoring.” 

The company has said that it will restore full network operation “only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.”  

Shortly after news of the hack went public, President Biden signed emergency legislation to ensure that operators of critical infrastructure strengthen their information security systems to mitigate the threat of a hack or ransomware attack. 

President Biden said in a statement that “the agencies across the government have acted quickly to mitigate any impact on our fuel supply,” while adding that “we’re prepared to take additional steps depending on how quickly the company is able to bring its pipeline back up to capacity.” 

Cyber security analysts have warned that the fuel pipeline hackers have displayed tell-tale signs of originating from Russia, although President Biden was cautious in his attribution of the attack stemming from Russia. 

“I’m going to be meeting with President Putin and so far there is no evidence based on our intelligence people, that Russia is involved,” he said. “Although there’s evidence that the actors’ ransomware is in Russia – they have some responsibility to deal with this.” 

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