• Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

New cyber attack on oil: sensitive data seized and ransom in cryptocurrency


May 10, 2021

The largest US pipeline is under attack. Behind the attack is a criminal organization calling itself DarkSide, which allegedly acted for the purpose of ransom. The Colonial Pipeline pipeline network, the largest in the United States, was forced three days ago to stop the transportation of fuel from the Gulf of Mexico to the New York metropolitan area, to “take some systems offline, al order to contain the threat “. President Biden has declared a state of emergency to deal with the suspension of the 8,850-kilometer Colonial Pipeline, which carries nearly half of the fuel supplies to the East Coast. The risk is that of a shortage of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel supplies, along with rising prices. Among the emergency measures adopted: road transport of fuel and extension to American hauliers of the daily working hours, to allow faster delivery.The DarkSide group is new, but this does not mean that its hackers are improvised. Cybersecurity experts who traced the attack to the criminal organization explained that it appears to be made up of veterans who have a clear understanding of their interlocutors and chain of command, and are intent on squeezing as much money as possible out of their victims. Lior Div, head of Boston-based cyber-executing firm Cybereason, interviewed by Reuters, said: “They are very organized, they look like someone who knows the subject.” Div is not surprised, and like him other experts on the subject. Since the middle of last year, groups of expert hackers have sprung out of nowhere and started attacking with a similar modus operandi: “As if someone had turned on a switch”, continues Div “in recent months our company has faced over 10 situations The software used by these hackers all work the same way: they take the sensitive data of the companies under attack and encrypt the data, demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency that amounts to hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, under the threat of disseminate sensitive data. On the DarkSide site, well protected in the deepweb, there are references to past operations (at least forty in the last period) and also a sort of “hall of shame” with documents of victims who refused to pay the ransom. Now, however, experts explain, they may have taken the longest step, bringing in both the government and the FBI.