Colin Mc Hugo

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Colin Mc Hugo
Security Engineer Manager & CEO at Quantum Infinite Solutions Group Ltd.
  • Residence:
    Dublin
  • County:
    Dublin
  • Country:
    Ireland
Cyber Security Incident Response
Management & Architecture of Cyber Security Teams
Solutions & Coaching
  • Cyber Security Incident Response
  • Management & Architecture of Cyber Security Teams
  • Solutions
  • Training & Coaching

Ransomware Cyber Attack Forced the Largest U.S. Fuel Pipeline to Shut Down

May 9, 2021

Colonial Pipeline, which carries 45% of the gas consumed on the U.S. East Coast, on Saturday stated it halted operations as a result of a ransomware assault, once again demonstrating how infrastructure is susceptible to cyberattacks.

“On Might 7, the Colonial Pipeline Firm realized it was the sufferer of a cybersecurity assault,” the corporate said in an announcement posted on its web site. “We’ve got since decided that this incident entails ransomware. In response, we proactively took sure methods offline to include the menace, which has quickly halted all pipeline operations, and affected a few of our IT methods.”

password auditor

Colonial Pipeline is the biggest refined merchandise pipeline within the U.S., a 5,500 mile (8,851 km) system concerned in transporting over 100 million gallons from the Texas metropolis of Houston to New York Harbor.

Cybersecurity agency FireEye’s Mandiant incident response division is claimed to be aiding with the investigation, in line with reviews from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, with the assault linked to a ransomware pressure referred to as DarkSide.

“We’re engaged with Colonial and our interagency companions concerning the scenario,” the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA) said. “This underscores the menace that ransomware poses to organizations no matter dimension or sector. We encourage each group to take motion to strengthen their cybersecurity posture to cut back their publicity to these kind of threats.”

Darkside ransomware
Darkside ransom be aware

An evaluation of the ransomware published by Cybereason earlier in April 2021 reveals that DarkSide has a sample of getting used in opposition to targets in English-speaking nations, whereas avoiding entities situated in former Soviet Bloc nations.

The operators behind the ransomware additionally lately switched to an affiliate program in March, whereby menace actors are recruited to unfold the malware by breaching company community victims, whereas the core builders take cost of sustaining the malware and cost infrastructure.

DarkSide, which commenced operations in August 2020, has revealed stolen knowledge from greater than 40 victims up to now. It is not instantly clear how a lot cash the attackers demanded or whether or not Colonial Pipeline has paid. A separate report from Bloomberg alleged that the cybercriminals behind the assault stole 100GB of knowledge from its community.

Rising Risk of Ransomware

The most recent cyber assault comes as a coalition of presidency and tech companies within the non-public sector, referred to as the Ransomware Process Power, launched a list of 48 recommendations to detect and disrupt the rising ransomware menace, along with serving to organizations put together and reply to such assaults extra successfully.

Doubtlessly damaging intrusions concentrating on utilities and significant infrastructure have witnessed a surge in recent times, fueled partly by ransomware assaults which have more and more jumped on the double extortion bandwagon to not solely encrypt the sufferer’s knowledge, however exfiltrate the information beforehand and threaten to make it public if the ransom demand is just not paid.

Based mostly on knowledge gathered by Verify Level and shared with The Hacker Information, cyberattacks concentrating on American utilities jumped by 50% on common per week, from 171 in the beginning of March to 260 in the direction of the tip of April. What’s extra, during the last 9 months, the month-to-month variety of ransomware assaults within the U.S. practically tripled to 300.

“Moreover, in latest weeks a median of 1 in each 88 Utilities group within the U.S. suffered from an tried Ransomware assault, up by 34% in comparison with the typical from the start of 2021,” the American-Israeli cybersecurity agency stated.

In February 2020, CISA issued an alert warning of accelerating ransomware infections impacting pipeline operations following an assault that hit an unnamed pure fuel compression facility within the nation, inflicting the corporate to close down its pipeline asset for about two days.

Securing pipeline infrastructure has been an space of focus for the Division of Homeland Safety, which in 2018 assigned CISA to supervise what’s referred to as the Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative (PCI) that goals to identify and address rising threats and implement safety measures to guard greater than 2.7 million miles of pipelines liable for transporting oil and pure fuel within the U.S.

The company’s Nationwide Threat Administration Middle (NRMC) has additionally revealed a Pipeline Cybersecurity Resources Library in February 2021 to “present pipeline services, firms, and stakeholders with a set of free, voluntary sources to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.”

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