Cyberscammers In Colonial Pipeline Shutdown Identified. A Gang Called DarkSide Linked To Ransomware Attack.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2016 file photo vehicles are seen near Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Ala. A major pipeline that transports fuels along the East Coast says it had to stop operations because it was the victim of a cyberattack. Colonial Pipeline said in a statement late Friday that it “took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.” (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

The cost of doing business – in mobster parlance – is becoming more commonplace with cyberattacks on large corporations.

The most recent is on a Georgia-based company whose pipelines move fuel from Texas to the Northeast.

A gang called DarkSide is the culprit, a person close to the investigation said in a Fox Business story Sunday. The source said DarkSide, whose purported attack forced the shutdown, is promoting an image of taking the extorted, ransom money gained and providing a percentage to charity.

By Sunday night, the standstill had completed its third day.

The situation rang alarms at the White House, where the Biden administration is in high gear to solve the issue and avoid disruptions in the fuel supply. 

At this early stage, experts don’t believe it will affect gasoline prices, but this pipeline, the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, said it carries a whopping 45% of fuel consumed by the Atlantic states.

Debnil Chowdhury at the research firm IHSMarkit said in a Fox story that if the disruption runs more than a week, Americans will see a gasoline price hike.

“I wouldn’t be surprised, if this ends up being an outage of that magnitude, if we see 15- to 20-cent rise in gas prices over next week or two,” he said. 

The company called this a ransomware attack (computer systems are locked via encrypting data), in which a healthy ransom is sought.

Colonial Pipeline is believed to be in negotiations or at a point that they’ve already settled on an amount.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday that her department would  work closely with Homeland Security.

“Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent,” she told CBS’ Face the Nation. “We have to work in partnership with business to secure networks to defend ourselves against these attacks.”

She said Biden was briefed on the attack.

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