Biden says there is a “strong reason” to believe that the pipeline hackers are in Russia
Joe Biden said the U.S. government has “strong reasons” to believe that the hackers behind the massive cyberattack that shut down the colonial oil pipeline are in Russia, urging Americans not to panic in the face of a temporary fuel shortage.
“We do not believe that the Russian government took part in this attack. But we have good reason to believe that the criminals who attacked us live in Russia. That’s where it came from, ”the U.S. president said in a speech at the White House on Thursday evening.
“We have been in direct communication with Moscow about the obligation for responsible countries to take decisive action against these ransomware networks,” he added, adding that he hopes to discuss the issue with the Russian president. Vladimir Putin.
The 5,500-mile pipeline system has a capacity for 2.5 m of barrels per day, including gasoline and fuel oil, which currently transports it from refineries on the Gulf Coast to major northeastern sites. The FBI has stated that it was caused by a closure ransomware attack according to hacking team DarkSide.
Cyber experts say Russia secretly allows it ransomware gang to act in the country and not judge them. In return, these criminals are not attacking Russian companies and may call for sharing access to victims ’systems, experts say.
Last month, the U.S. Treasury accused one of Russia’s intelligence services, the FSB, of “cultivating and selecting” the infamous Evil Corp ransomware group that is being punished.
Colonial pipeline – responsible for carrying nearly half of the engines used on the east coast of the United States – he began the process of reopening it completely on Wednesday evening, five days after a cyber attack hit drivers in the southeastern United States that caused panic.
Biden said the U.S. government expected it to “return to normal from region to region starting this weekend and next week.” He called on Americans to panic to avoid buying gasoline, and told state governors and local authorities to call on companies to look for illegal price fluctuations.
“Don’t panic, number one. I know it can be very stressful to see lines at gas pumps or gas stations, but it’s a temporary situation, ”Biden said.“ You don’t have to get more gas in the next few days. ”
The shortage of gas stations caused by panic continued on Thursday, with about 70 percent of North Carolina stations dry and about half in Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina, according to data provider GasBuddy.
However, the situation in some major urban areas was beginning to improve. The number of refueling stations in Atlanta fell from a 73 percent night-time peak to 68 percent on Thursday evening.
Colonial said on Thursday morning that it had made “significant progress” in putting its operations back online and that all markets would begin receiving products by the evening.
Pump prices have continued to rise. National average gasoline prices were $ 3.03 on Thursday, according to the AAA Automobile Association. They He crossed $ 3 gallons threshold on Wednesday for the first time since 2014.
The future of gasoline was revived by the news of the colonial reopening, as traders anticipated that supplies would return to normal. June delivery contracts fell 7 cents to $ 2.08, the lowest level since trading on Thursday afternoon in April.