Posted on May 10, 2021 at 5:50 PM
DarkSide, the hacker group responsible for the hacking attacks on Colonial Pipeline, has stated that they have an ethical code of conduct. The code governs the firms that the hacking group will target.
Colonial Pipeline is the largest supplier of fuel on the East Coast. The company was hacked on Thursday last week, with hackers making away with around 100GB of data. The hackers also encrypted some of the company’s data and demanded a ransom. However, Colonial Pipeline has not disclosed the amount of ransom demanded.
The entry of DarkSide into the crypto market space was marked in August 2020. The company was brought into the limelight by a news article by Bleeping Computer. At the time, DarkSide claimed to be a legitimate enterprise and not a group of black-hat hackers.
DarkSide’s Ethics Code
A press release published on the dark web has revealed that DarkSide works with a code of ethics. A press release on Bleeping Computer released the details.
The ethics code states that DarkSide cannot attack various institutions that offer necessary services, including schools, hospitals, universities, NGOs, governments, and hospices. According to Bleeping Computer, not attacking such organizations was under the firm’s principles.
The firm stated that its target audience was companies that had the funds to pay for ransom. A ransomware attack can lead to a payout equivalent to millions of dollars.
Besides, the company also works professionally. The group usually gives press releases and even has a mailing list. According to Lior Div, the Chief Executive of Cyberason, “They’re very new, but they’re very organized.” “It looks like someone who’s been there, done that.” He added.
Attack on Colonial Pipeline
The attack on Colonial Pipeline by DarkSide could be one of the largest in the country’s history. The pipeline deals with around 2.5 million barrels of fuel each day. This is equivalent to 45% of the entire fuel supply of the East Coast.
The pipeline shut down its operations on Friday because of the attack. They have hired a cybersecurity firm that is looking to identify a way of solving the hack. The firm is also working with the government to establish a way of handling the situation. To meet fuel demand, the US government is becoming more lenient with fuel transported by road as they wait for Colonial Pipeline to resume operations.
Currently, US fuel prices are still unaffected by the pandemic. However, there are concerns that this may change as the company’s shutdown continues for more days.
DarkSide stole around 100GB of data from the company and threatened to leak the information if a ransom was not paid. However, Colonial Pipeline took its cloud system offline. At the time, the stolen data had not been transferred to other locations, which reduced the leverage that DarkSide had on the company.
The firm closed all its operations and stated they would resume operations once the matter had been dealt with. According to the firm, the systems would be brought back online, “only when we believe it is safe to do so.”
The attack on Colonial Pipeline shed light on the heightened levels of vulnerability in the energy sector. Besides, ransomware and other online attacks in the US have been on the rise. This calls for heightened measures towards achieving cybersecurity in government institutions and among US consumers.