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Cyberattack strikes major fuel pipeline

In this 2008 file photo, traffic on I-95 passes oil storage tanks owned by the Colonial Pipeline Company in Linden, N.J. Associated Press/ Photo by Mark Lennihan

Cyberattack strikes major fuel pipeline

A major pipeline supplying the East coast remains shut down for the third day after a disruptive cyberattack Friday. To prevent fuel shortages, the Department of Transportation issued a regional emergency declaration Sunday that eases regulations for drivers transporting petroleum products across 18 states. Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline is still trying to restore full operations.

Who staged the hack? Investigations are ongoing, but some have linked the attack to DarkSide, a ransomware gang known for stealing from corporations and governments in Western nations and giving a cut with charities. Hackers encrypt data and paralyze networks to lock up a company’s system, then demand a ransom to unscramble it. Colonial Pipeline did not provide any details on a ransom but said it restored several of its smaller pipelines while the main one remains offline. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday said she would work with the Department of Homeland Security to address the attacks, which “are becoming more frequent.”

Dig deeper: Read my earlier report in The Sift on similar attacks against U.S. hospitals.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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