Colonial Pipeline Resumes Normal Operations After Paying Ransom Demand

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Colonial Pipeline has resumed normal operations delivering millions of gallons per hour to its markets, as reported by USA Today on May 15, 2021. Earlier reports indicate they paid the ransom demand of  75 Bitcoin to recover stolen data — $3.7 million based on today’s exchange rate.

The demand was made by the hacking group DarkSide after they inserted a type of malware the encrypts the Pipelinevictim’s network until the extortionists are paid. Cybercriminals threaten to released proprietary information, data that would ensure identity theft of the entity’s contact/customer list, and much more.

On May 7, the company preemptively shut down its pipeline that spans about 5,500 miles from New Jersey to Texas — nearly half of the transport fuels supply for the Atlantic Coast.

Markets served by Colonial Pipeline are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Deleware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm told The Associated Press on Friday, that Colonial Pipeline is pumping fuel at the rate that will allow about 200 stations to return to service every hour.

She added:

It’s still going to work its way through the system over the next few days, but we should be back to normal soon.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The New York Times: Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers; by Michael D. Shear, Nicole Perlroth, and Clifford Krauss
USA Today: Pipeline operator says ‘normal operations’ have resumed; gas shortages to end ‘fairly soon,’ Energy Secretary says

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Inset Image Courtesy of QuoteInspector.com’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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