Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.


  • At least 11 states and Washington, D.C., have experienced gas shortages since a ransomware attack forced the critical pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York and carries 45% of the East Coast’s fuel supplies, to shut down last weekend.
  • Colonial said in an update at 9 a.m. ET Thursday that service had resumed in a majority of its markets, and that it expects all markets to receive product by mid-day. It will take days before deliveries fully return to normal.

Between the lines: The FBI generally discourages companies from paying ransoms, noting that there's no guarantee that the hackers will unlock the systems and it could incentivize more cyber crime, per Bloomberg.

  • White House deputy national security adviser Elizabeth Neuberger would not answer at a briefing on Monday whether Colonial had paid a ransom, saying they are a private company and that the White House would defer those "very difficult" decisions to them. Biden also declined to comment at a briefing Thursday.
  • DarkSide, an Eastern European group that the FBI has blamed for the attack, said in a statement that its goal "is to make money, and not creating problems for society," per CNBC.

The big picture: The cyber breach will likely put pressure on federal agencies and Congress to harden defenses in the country’s sprawling networks of pipelines, electricity grids, power plants, petrochemical facilities and other energy infrastructure.

  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who's been a leading voice in Congress on the issue, told Axios that if Americans knew how many ransomware attacks were happening every day, it would "blow their minds."
  • The Colonial hack, coupled with the Russians' SolarWinds attack — which had a breathtaking scale penetrating some 16,000 companies — has made people realize a cyber enemy could shut down an entire economy, Warner said.

regular 4 post ff

infinite scroll 4 pff

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories