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Colonial Pipeline Paid Hackers $5 Million
Ransom: Report

Original Article

Posted By: Dreadnought, 5/13/2021 11:17:51 AM

Colonial Pipeline Co. paid the group that hacked its pipeline a nearly $5 million ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours of the cyberattack, two people familiar with the payment told Bloomberg on Thursday. The report contradicts Colonial’s public assertion that it did not pay the hacking group Darkside ransom following the cyberattack. A third person familiar with the ransom said the U.S. government is aware Colonial paid Darkside. Colonial declined Bloomberg‘s request for comment. The attack forced Colonial to temporarily shut down much of its services, causing gas shortages and rising prices across the east coast.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Highlander 5/13/2021 11:21:01 AM (No. 784276)
That is a bad, bad precedent. What’s to stop those hackers from doing it again, and again?
44 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Dreadnought 5/13/2021 11:21:07 AM (No. 784277)
1 - Ourtrageous!!!! 2 - $5 mil. Greatest, cheapist, most cost effective covert political expenditure on behalf of the RNC's efforts to retake Congress and the White House ever!
17 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: earlybird 5/13/2021 11:38:42 AM (No. 784293)
If you pay them, they will come….again.
28 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: bighambone 5/13/2021 11:39:25 AM (No. 784297)
The next victim will pay more, it is crazy to pay criminals. They probably could have replaced their entire computer system for that much.
19 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: clayusmcret 5/13/2021 11:47:00 AM (No. 784309)
This makes no sense. If they paid the ransom "within hours", why was the pipeline shut down for days?
22 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Dodge Boy 5/13/2021 11:53:41 AM (No. 784317)
Darkside will be back and the ransom will be $10 million next time. Now that the jihadists and entire world know that Colonial is the only supplier of refined petroleum products to the east coast, just a matter of time before bombing of the pipeline systems and kidnapping of Colonial senior executives are carried out.
13 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Mizz Fixxit 5/13/2021 11:55:08 AM (No. 784322)
Speculation —- replacement of computer system may have caused a long delay before pipeline operations were resumed, and, of course, shortages, and price spikes. Also, Biden would use such a delay as a scapegoat for economic distress that is his fault.
7 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: dst4life 5/13/2021 11:58:42 AM (No. 784328)
If criminals are appeased, they are empowered. When they are empowered, they strike again. These criminals see Xiden's tepid response.
12 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: pearlyjo 5/13/2021 11:59:19 AM (No. 784330)
I don’t know if I believe this article. Unnamed sources, someone close, etc. I wonder if it’s accurate.
10 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 5/13/2021 12:04:22 PM (No. 784335)
If these idiots had spent that $5 million on paying for dedicated hardline comm links between their various stations, they'd be stable and under control. But using the internet for comms on critical infrastructure is cheap and convenient.....who cares if it is totally insecure, regardless of the BS stories told by 'security software' salesmen.
8 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: DVC 5/13/2021 12:06:17 PM (No. 784339)
Dollars against doughnuts that they keep the same IT security head and staff, and do nothing at all fundamental to change their cybersecurity. A bit of paint and polish, and a new version of some software and presto-chango.....Boss, we are perfectly safe now, "I personally guarantee it!".
11 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: HPmatt 5/13/2021 12:12:18 PM (No. 784345)
According to Fauci-speak, they did not lie....their insurance company paid them. Colonial is going to payroll deduct the $5 million from their asleep-the-switch IT VP - that they probably hired from Experian.... and from their Board of Directors AUDIT & RISK MANAGEMENT Committee...
9 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: Venturer 5/13/2021 12:26:46 PM (No. 784367)
Nothing is untraceble. They have to spend the 5 Million dollars it went somewhere. Where are our hackers and computer experts. The way to stop this is to find those who are doing it and severely punish them. I don't mean a slap on the wrist I mean real punishment I mean covertly eliminate them. That's right. eliminate them. They want to play secretly , let them be punished secretly.
14 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: usawatcher 5/13/2021 12:29:41 PM (No. 784370)
Pipelines in this country are controlled by SCDA systems. There is a huge amount of data, collected by remote sensors, needed to manage the flow of product in pipelines. If they had to wipe the servers that housed this data, check all those f the SCDA workstations that use those servers it would take time to do the restores, verify that the remote sensors were working correctly before product could flow again in those lines. I worked in area I’m discussing here so I know what it takes to get things going again....not an easy task and can’t be done ver night regardless of how good your IT staff is.
13 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: Jethro bo 5/13/2021 12:37:47 PM (No. 784378)
No, consumers paid hackers $5 million bucks. Don't expect any help from our goobernment. They're too busy hunting down white supremeist and Capitol Hill protesters.
7 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: joew9 5/13/2021 12:48:06 PM (No. 784387)
As a lifetime engineer I can see no reason for the pipeline to have been shutdown at all. If they lost their remote control of the pumping stations they could easily send some guys to each one with a cell phone, a chair, and a picnic basket to camp out and unplug the pumps from the computer and manually run the station and get the whole thing back up an going in a matter of hours. So the only thing that makes sense is they shut it down on purpose. Perhaps because the computers that were actually compromised were billing computers and they just couldn't figure out how to bill customers without the computers. Ridiculous. Have they forgotten how to keep books manually? Or perhaps they shutdown because they got ordered to do so by the anti-pipeline Biden administration. I am positive a Trump administration would have solved this situation within 24 hours and there would be no gas shortage. I am in Southwest Florida(Cape Coral area) and every station I went to this morning has yellow tape around the pumps. There is nothing. I am back stranded at home.
11 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: JackBurton 5/13/2021 12:49:25 PM (No. 784388)
I'm in favor of that. I would send it cash. Direct to their location. Of course, I would alert the military to have a drone with a ready Hellfire missile standing by at the appointed delivery time....
6 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: LC Chihuahua 5/13/2021 12:59:24 PM (No. 784399)
What are they doing so this never happens again? It will happen again now that they have paid up. Have the feds been hunting down Darkside? At the very least, the computer network should be PRIVATE. What's wrong? Can't work from home anymore? Scared to leave the house because of COVID?
5 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: kono 5/13/2021 1:04:40 PM (No. 784402)
Get this stuff OFF the public networks. While there are ways to hack private, physically-separated networks, those are quite a bit harder to compromise, especially internationally.
6 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: Delilah 5/13/2021 1:17:02 PM (No. 784411)
I had my computer held for ransom several years ago. I was then an 80 yr. old widow who put any documents worth keeping on a thumb drive so I just had the computer wiped clean and reprogrammed. Cost me $100 but the crooks got nothing. Why anyone would bother with me was beyond my comprehension.
7 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: DVC 5/13/2021 1:29:50 PM (No. 784424)
#13, bitcoin is pretty nearly totally untraceable. That's why the criminal class (which includes politicians) love it.
5 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: DVC 5/13/2021 1:34:54 PM (No. 784429)
#14, thanks for the comment. Please verify my theory that these remotely controlled systems are linked to "HQ" by the internet. Of course the story will be "through secure firewalls and with top notch security software", which is worth zippo if the central computers are hacked and send valid commands to these remote systems because the central computers have been taken over. Of could ask "why, exactly, is it that you don't have back up computers available, all ready to go, yet powered down and isolated from the main system in case of a hack attack or ransomware attack?"
1 person likes this.

Reply 23 - Posted by: felixcat 5/13/2021 1:36:34 PM (No. 784430)
Have they not seen the PC Matics commercials?
3 people like this.

Reply 24 - Posted by: marbles 5/13/2021 2:04:19 PM (No. 784459)
How very Neville Chamberlain of them. You do not ever give in to bullies, it emboldens them.
3 people like this.

Reply 25 - Posted by: GoodDeal 5/13/2021 2:06:09 PM (No. 784462)
The ransom cost will be passed on to the buyers of their gas. No problemo.
2 people like this.

Reply 26 - Posted by: red1066 5/13/2021 2:15:04 PM (No. 784475)
Now get your software that runs the pipeline off the international internet and build your own computer system that can't be hacked by anyone outside of the company. It would be a hell of lot cheaper than paying ransoms every so often, and your cash flow wouldn't come to a screeching halt.
7 people like this.

Reply 27 - Posted by: Jesuslover54 5/13/2021 2:19:17 PM (No. 784481)
Considering the disruption and the exorbitant extra costs drivers are paying, 5 mil is cheap. Now track them down and kill them.
5 people like this.

Reply 28 - Posted by: NancyD 5/13/2021 2:43:44 PM (No. 784503)
I saw a news report that over 2800 companies have had this happen to them. It's hospitals, local governments, businesses, universities, etc... IF they don't pay, they cannot access their business system and all of their records, new and old. IF they back up their system to a separate drive a few times a day, at least they could back up close to the time that they lost everything. The problem is that once these hackers get in to a system, they could set off a time for this to happen and it could be months from now and the victims have NO idea its going to happen or when it was planted. There is insurance that can be purchased to help pay the criminals. I am wondering if we should get that insurance for ourselves.
2 people like this.

Reply 29 - Posted by: Toby Ten Bears 5/13/2021 2:56:25 PM (No. 784514)
Is this the "cover story"... So Biden's incompetent band of boobs won't look weak as new born kittens?
3 people like this.

Reply 30 - Posted by: SilkCity 5/13/2021 3:37:04 PM (No. 784546)
What is the Big Guy's end?
2 people like this.

Reply 31 - Posted by: skacmar 5/13/2021 3:47:20 PM (No. 784560)
The Colonial Pipeline was just following the Biden Administration's fine example. Didn't Biden just give millions to the Palestinians (Hamas) which were used to purchase the missiles raining down on Israel this week? Have they given Iran a load of cash used to fund terrorist groups around the world? Who else has been paid off by the US Government that we do not know about?
1 person likes this.

Reply 32 - Posted by: Jesse Jenkem 5/13/2021 4:07:13 PM (No. 784577)
I would hate to be on the IT staff of Colonial Pipeline trying to explain how it happened, and why the files weren't backed up.
0 people like this.

Reply 33 - Posted by: Hermit_Crab 5/13/2021 4:19:55 PM (No. 784585)
'10% off the top for the Big Guy'.
1 person likes this.

Reply 34 - Posted by: DVC 5/13/2021 5:48:14 PM (No. 784683)
#16, I would imagine that there are dozens of valves and pumps that have to be operated, and they very well have far fewer trained operators than they have locations that have to be monitored. Modern systems are highly automated and this is considered a good thing normally. Need that valve shut right now, located 800 miles away, and it's 2 am? Push a button or type a command. I'll bet that most of the pumping and valving stations are unattended much of the time with a roving repairman or crew that takes care of them when needed, or on a scheduled basis. A relative worked on switches for a major RR. All centrally operated. He did a certain scheduled maintenance and then went and fixed calls. If the RR had to go to manual operation...EVERYTHING slows WAY down, and I would imagine that a RR and a pipeline have a lot in common in how you run one.
0 people like this.

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