US cyber attacks severely affect oil supplies
WASHINGTON: A major cyber attack on the central system of the US petroleum pipeline has affected oil supplies.
According to a foreign news agency, after an unusual cyber attack by unknown hackers, the top US fuel pipeline operator, Colonel Pileline, has cut off supplies from the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern parts of the United States.
The pipeline carries 100 million tons of oil daily between New Jersey and Texas for 5,000 miles.
Crude oil prices in New York’s oil market have been affected by the impact on oil supplies. The company delivers 2.5 million barrels of petrol, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products daily through pipelines over a distance of about five hundred and fifty miles, and 45 percent of the East Coast’s supply vehicles.
After learning of the cyber attack, the colonial pipeline shut down its systems to limit the effects of the attack. The company says the cyber attack has disrupted some activities and affected some IT systems.
Sources in the oil industry and a former government official said that the hackers belonging to the cyber attack belonged to a cyber criminal group with extraordinary skills. Investigators say a group called the “Dark Side” was not involved in the attack.
The Dark Side attacks with ransomware and avoids targeting the breakaway states of the former Soviet Union. Ransomware is a special malware (virus) that enters any system and starts the process of locking it. Failure to do so will result in the software asking for some money, which can be called extortion.