Companies Have Paid $90 Million Ransoms To DarkSide Hackers Who Shut Down Colonial Pipeline: Report


The hackers who caused the weeklong shutdown of a major U.S. gasoline pipeline have reportedly hit nearly 50 other targets, pulling in more than $90 million in ransoms.

The “DarkSide hackers that closed the Colonial Pipeline have bagged more than $90 million in Bitcoin ransom payments from 47 victims and have infected at least 99 companies in the last year,” The Daily Mail reported. “Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said DarkSide’s Bitcoin wallet received millions of dollars worth of ransom payments in the nine months between October last year and last week when the wallet shut down.”The targets included fashion label Guess and car firm Toshiba, although it was not clear if they paid ransoms. About half of the targets paid ransoms, with the average payment being around $1.9 million, Elliptic said.

Dark web intelligence firm DarkTracer identified 99 organizations that were infected with Darkside ransomware.

Colonial reportedly paid nearly $5 million in ransom.

“Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline Co., told The Wall Street Journal that he authorized the ransom payment of $4.4 million because executives were unsure how badly the cyberattack had breached its systems or how long it would take to bring the pipeline back,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Colonial on May 7 was hit with a cyberattack that forced the closure of the 5,500-mile pipeline, which moves more than 100 million gallons of fuel from Texas to New Jersey every day — nearly 50% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. The company suspended all operations since the attack, but last Thursday issued a statement saying operations have resumed.

In the meantime, thousands of gas stations across the Southeast ran out of fuel following the cyber attack. On social media, multiple videos went viral of people showing that their gas stations were out of fuel in states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and others.

The governors of four states had little faith in the White House quickly solving the gas crisis, issuing state of emergency declarations as they faced gas outages sparked by the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attacks.

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia have all implemented states of emergency. Biden took heat for his slow reaction to the attack, with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasting the president for essentially shrugging his shoulders in response.

“This pipeline actually doesn’t touch Florida, but it does feed into many of our gas stations. So we declared a state of emergency. We’re lifting restrictions to be able to get more fuel in the pumps,” DeSantis said.

“The Biden administration needs to take this seriously,” DeSantis said. “Their initial response is, ‘Oh, this is a private pipeline,’ and just shrug their shoulders. This is important infrastructure for our country, and it could impact our economy greatly if they don’t respond.”

Meanwhile, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline soared to its highest level this week since the Obama era and is likely going to continue increasing at least the in short term.

“On the week, the national gas price average jumped six cents to $2.96,” the American Automobile Association reported on Monday. “If the trend continues, an increase of three more cents would make the national average the most expensive since November 2014 –the last time we saw average prices at $2.99 and higher.”

By Wednesday, however, the national average price for a gallon of gas had soared to $3.008, meaning gas is now at its highest point in six and a half years.

The prices were already rising before the mess with Colonial Pipeline.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.