And make no error, “major” is a respectable descriptor for the implications of this attack on a pipeline network that providers some 45% of the fuel taken in by the US East Coast. As we noted formerly, major setups like the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which up until this year was ranked as the worlds busiest airport, likewise get fuel from Colonial Pipeline, as do military bases across the pipelines footprint. Eventually, Colonials network incorporates some 5,550 miles of pipeline, and by shutting it down because of the hackers actions, it initially stranded a considerable amount of gas, jet fuel and diesel along the Gulf Coast.
Colonial said it chose to take its functional network down out of an abundance of care, although it was the companys IT network that the Russian hackers struck– they stole almost 100GB before locking the network and demanding their ransomware payment. Colonials entire site is really down since the time of this writing, though the business says its aiming to bring back service to the pipeline by the end of the week. Meantime, as noted above, the DarkSide gang has taken the remarkable step of coming fairly near an apology for the attack, stressing in the declaration you can read below that “Our goal is to earn money, and not creating issues for society.”
Andy is a reporter in Memphis who likewise adds to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When hes not discussing innovation, he can be discovered stooped protectively over his blossoming collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV programs you probably do not like.
And kid, does this gang have a pretty sophisticated setup that, regardless of this most current attack, keeps the cash rolling in perfectly with a minimum of mainstream press analysis. Thats the opinion of professionals like Lesley Carhart, a principal commercial occurrence responder with Dragos Inc., who tweeted that: “They were doing a really great task of annihilating companies, including infrastructure– and everyone has been truly peaceful.”
Some crucial facts about DarkSide:
The gang runs like a quasi-normal organization, think it or not. Danny Jenkins, CEO of ThreatLocker, told the IT and business security news website ThreatPost that DarkSide has “staff members, expenses, revenues, and consumer assistance.”
DarkSide is really a ransomware-as-a-service platform, according to cybersecurity-focused investigative press reporter Brian Krebs. As such, approved cybercriminals are permitted to utilize the platform to contaminate business with ransomware and to negotiate payment with victims. But those lawbreakers need to follow the DarkSide guidelines– no hacking whatsoever of business like funeral houses, non-profits, and health centers.
That appears to harken back to the DarkSide statement above. These men want to earn money, so their goal is to attack targets that are really able to pay up, in addition to targets that wont make them look, you know, evil. Since Tuesday afternoon, it hasnt yet emerged whether Colonial Pipeline has paid a ransom yet or how much money the DarkSide gang demanded, however the group tends to need that victims pay anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million.
Along these lines, theres a kind of FAQ on the DarkSide website that describes: “We just attack business that can pay the asked for amount, we do not want to eliminate your company.” At the top of that page, by the method, is verbiage of a sort that you d discover on the About page of something like a tech start-up, where DarkSide explains a bit about the platform they constructed for follow ransomware assailants. “We produced DarkSide due to the fact that we didnt discover the ideal item for us. Now we have it.”
Cybersecurity reporter Kim Zetter, whos been covering all this in her Substack newsletter Zero Day, notes that DarkSides money-making practices likewise reach offering details about upcoming victims of its ransomware attacks so that other bad actors can short the victim companys stock. Krebs has actually also discovered that back in March, DarkSide introduced a sort of call service thats integrated into the affiliate hackers DarkSide management web portal, “which enabled the affiliates to arrange calls pushing victims into paying ransoms straight from the management panel.”
The real-world side to all this, on the other hand, includes the real, concrete repercussions that the Colonial attack is having, which surpass events that played out on computer screens. The White House on Tuesday, for example, prompted Americans not to engage in an operate on gas station, as the Colonial shutdown extended for yet another day. As of the time of this writing, gas stations in at least 6 states are reporting fuel failures, while the cost and fuel tracker GasBuddy states that fuel demand in the Eastern US is up more than 30% this week compared to last week.
The real-world side to all this, meanwhile, includes the real, tangible repercussions that the Colonial attack is having, which go beyond events that played out on computer system screens.
And make no mistake, “major” is a pretty good descriptor for the implications of this attack on a pipeline network that carriers some 45% of the fuel taken in by the US East Coast. Meantime, as kept in mind above, the DarkSide gang has taken the extraordinary action of coming fairly close to an apology for the attack, stressing in the declaration you can check out listed below that “Our objective is to make cash, and not creating problems for society.”
DarkSide ransomware gang, which closed down the largest oil pipeline in the U.S., published a notice that their only goal was money. pic.twitter.com/uZUkWz6rpi
— DarkTracer: DarkWeb Criminal Intelligence (@darktracer_int) May 10, 2021
In the apparently nonstop cascade of news headings about hacks, information breaches and ransomware attacks like the one from this weekend performed by a Russian criminal gang against a major US fuel pipeline, the bad people typically appear as a kind of faceless, nearly-anonymous threat. The only thing we end up beholding is their handiwork, while were told by Very Serious Government Experts that the attack came from Iran, China, Russia or some other distant nation-state where hackers prosper.
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In the seemingly relentless cascade of news headlines about hacks, information breaches and ransomware attacks like the one from this weekend executed by a Russian criminal gang against a major US fuel pipeline, the bad guys often appear as a kind of faceless, nearly-anonymous threat. The only thing we end up beholding is their handiwork, while were told by Very Serious Government Experts that the attack came from Iran, China, Russia or some other far-flung nation-state where hackers prosper.
When it comes to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack from this weekend, nevertheless, nearly from the start a series of interesting details have been trickling out about the DarkSide ransomware gang from Russia that United States experts pointed the finger at– and the DarkSide hackers, themselves, have even taken obligation for the attack. In truth, the cybercriminals in fact posted a sort of “oops” declaration on their website, suggesting that what they were mostly after was money here, not a considerable attack on a major piece of US facilities.
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