Several U.S. media reports reported that the DarkSide criminal gang was paid $ 5 million after the destructive Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack
Ang Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack last week took a fresh round, after the criminals behind the attack were reported to have paid an offensive amount of money.
Bloomberg, CNN, and other U.S. media sources all citing their own sources, reported that a ransom had been paid – in the amount of $ 5 million.
The payment of this ransom contradicts reports earlier this week that the company has no plans to pay a ransom to help restore the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, despite the firm reportedly having an insurance policy for in such an event.
According to Bloomberg, the Georgia-based pipeline operator paid out $ 5 million in cryptocurrency within hours after the attack.
That quick payment underscored enormous operator pressure to get fuel and jet fuel flowing back into major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, people told Bloomberg.
A third familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials were aware of being paid by the Colonial.
Once they received the payment, the hackers reportedly gave the operator a decrypting tool to restore the disabled computer network.
The tool was so slow that the company continued to use its own backups to help restore the system, said one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts.
A representative from the Colonial declined to comment.
The colonial said it began resuming fuel shipments around 5 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, but there were still reports of widespread disruption in parts of the United States, which ran out of fuel supplies at stations. of fuel, and passenger jets having to stop excessively on their flights to refuel.
The attack was carried out by a criminal group called DarkSide, which is allegedly based in Russia or eastern Europe.
Earlier this week the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned Russia that it cannot continue to adopt criminal gangs carrying out ransomware attacks in Western countries.
U.S. President Joe Biden spoke out about the cyber-attack last week and has already implemented emergency powers to deal with the disruption.
Also this week President Biden signed an executive order designed to enhance cyber security in the US.
As part of that mandate, federal agencies will be required to introduce multi-factor authentication into their systems and encrypt all data for six months in a bid to make it harder for hackers. to penetrate their IT infrastructure.
Bloomberg News asked President Biden if he had been informed by the Colonial Pipeline paying ransom to criminals, the president stopped, then said: “I have no comment about that.”
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