Washington, May 10 (EFE).- The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday blamed the hacking group “DarkSide” for a cyberattack that knocked the United States’ largest fuel pipeline system out of service.
In a statement, the FBI said it will keep working with its government partners and Colonial Pipeline Co. to investigate a “ransomware” attack last Friday that blocked access to the company’s computers and demanded money in exchange for unfreezing them.
Cybersecurity experts earlier had pointed to DarkSide – a criminal gang believed to be based in Eastern Europe – as a potential suspect.
Georgia-based Colonial has had to suspend operations across the entire length of a vital 8,850-kilometer (5,500-mile) line that transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast to Linden, New Jersey.
That supply of transportation fuel accounts for 45 percent of the total amount consumed on the US East Coast, according to the company’s website.
In a statement Sunday night, Colonial said its main fuel pipeline is still out of service but that some smaller conduits between terminals and delivery points are still in operation.
US President Joe Biden on Sunday lifted restrictions on fuel transport via road to avoid any supply problems stemming from the cyberattack.
His declaration of a regional state of emergency will allow trucks to operate without time restrictions and transport gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products to 17 states of the southeastern and eastern US, as well as the District of Columbia, the US Department of Transportation said in a statement.
Among other things, the measure removes a federal requirement stating that truck drivers must make rest stops of several hours at a time. EFE