Russian colonial pipeline pirate: cartoon by Darcy
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that runs through the southeastern states of the United States has been attributed to “DarkSide,” a Russian hacking group linked to the Russian military and intelligence services.
DarkSide develops, markets, and sells ransomeware hacking tools. In a statement about the Colonial Pipeline hack posted to the dark web, DarkSide claimed to be “apolitical” despite apparently being contractors of Russian intelligence.
“We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to bind ourselves to a defined government and seek our motives. Our goal is to make money, not to create problems for society. From today, we are introducing moderation and checking every business that our partners want to cost to avoid social consequences in the future ”
DarkSide had also published a “code of conduct” which made provision not to target current or former Russian states.
The attack comes after the Biden administration in April increased sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2020 US election, its cyberattack on SolarWinds, and its military action in Crimea.
President Biden has said he will discuss the colonial pipeline hack with Vladimir Putin at their upcoming summit meeting.
The attack and the pipeline shutdown prompted panic gas purchases, creating long lines in several states that led to stations shutting down when they ran out of gas.
Colonial Pipeline, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is owned by at least 5 major investor groups, including Koch Industries and Shell. She and the US Secretary of Energy have said the pipeline is expected to be back on line by this weekend.