The hacking, which has caused paralysis of one of the largest operators of American pipelines since Friday, was carried out by the criminal group Darkside, the American federal police said on Monday.
“The FBI confirms that Darkside’s ransomware is responsible for compromising the colonial pipeline network,” a company that transports gasoline and diesel over 8,800 miles of pipeline across the United States, the statement said.
Ransomware or “ransomware” is a program that exploits security holes to encrypt computer systems and requires a ransom to unblock them.
Colonial Pipeline, which says it discovered on May 7 that it was “the victim of a cybersecurity attack,” “excluded some (of its) offline systems as a precaution to combat the danger, which temporarily halted all operations.”
“For now, our main goal is to safely and efficiently renew our services in order to return to normal operation,” the company said Saturday.
The Colonial Pipeline operates a network of pipelines stretching from refineries on the Gulf Coast around Houston, Texas to the northeastern United States in the New York area.
It is the largest refined oil pipeline operator in the country, transporting nearly 45% of the fuel consumed on the east coast of the United States.