Colonial Pipeline Shuts Down After Cyber Attack

Michael Angee, Design Editor

 The Colonial Pipeline system provides about 45% of the fuel for the east coast. The company recently underwent a ransomware attack and got temporarily shut down. 

The hacking of the Colonial Pipeline prompted a gas shortage throughout the United States, since the pipeline stretches from Texas to New Jersey. 

The criminal cyber group, Darkside, issued the ransomware attack, defined as an attack that involves implementing files on a device or network therefore making the system inoperable.

 The Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline. This greatly affected the majority of the East Coast as Georgia,, Virginia and many other states on the east face tremendous gas shortages. 

Americans who rushed to the gas stations preparing for the shortage were met with prices over three dollars a gallon. 

The hacker group made their motives clear as they explicitly mentioned in a statement that they were in the business of hacking for the sole reason of getting the ransom that most companies pay once hit with an attack such as this one. 

Darkside mainly attacks companies within English-speaking countries and does so in an organized fashion. As an organization, Darkside claims that, with the ransom money made from hacking companies, they donate a portion to nonprofit organizations. 

On the afternoon of May 13, Colonial tweeted that operations of the pipeline had resumed and their product delivery was in full effect. Colonial ended up paying five million dollars to the hacker group in order to resume the operations at the pipeline.