Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest fuel pipelines in the United States, reportedly paid the hacker group DarkSide about $ 5 million (R $ 26.3 million in the current conversion) for the data rescue.
In the last week, the American company suffered a ransomware attack that interrupted operations for five days. The action had an immense impact on fuel supply across American soil.
Sources from CNN, the New York Times, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal revealed that the large sum was actually paid to the hacker group. However, Colonial Pipeline declined to comment on the case.
Responsible for transporting 2.5 million barrels of fuel per day on the East Coast, the pipeline resumed activities on May 12. American President Joe Biden assured that the supply would return to normal in the last weekend.
Due to the scarcity, the average price of a gallon of diesel reached US $ 3.008 (R $ 15.87). According to the Automobile Association of America, this was the highest figure since October 2014.
Ransom payment hinders Biden’s efforts
Due to the increase in ransomware attacks during the pandemic, Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen US cyber defenses. Likewise, the American government does not support payments for data redemption.
Thus, Colonial Pipeline’s decision completely undermined recent efforts. In addition, unlike what was promised by cybercriminals, the pipeline team itself had to act to recover the system after payment.
Recently, the DarkSide group carried out a similar attack to Toshiba. However, the leak was detected quickly and a minimal amount of data was obtained by the attackers.