Colonial Pipeline attack: Americans hit where they hurt

The shutdown caused by hacker interference in the computer systems of one of the largest American product pipelines threatens to result in serious problems that may well reach the size of, if not a national catastrophe, then something close to it. The most unpleasant thing is that long before the first, albeit the most preliminary, official conclusions about the reasons for what happened, the US media had already begun to circulate with might and main the version of "Russian hackers" who allegedly carried out this intervention.

There is nothing surprising here, because thanks to the real hysteria that has been fanned for several years in this country around "interference in elections", "cyber attacks" and other similar actions of the Russian side, it, one might say, "hung in the air." And others, as it were, were not envisaged ... To argue with this statement (as with any other nonsense) is absolutely meaningless, although we will consider below the "arguments" put forward by its supporters. However, a much more important question seems to be who and why actually needed to arrange another show with "Russian hackers". And why did it happen right now?

In the most sore spot

At the moment, the following is known about the events in the United States: cybercriminals entered the network of the operator of the product pipeline Colonial Pipeline, presumably on May 6. Having launched a malicious virus there, the hackers stole at least 100 GB of critical data, blocked the system, and on May 7 demanded a large ransom from the company's owners. Its amount has not yet been announced, however, according to some sources, it is about at least hundreds of millions of dollars. It must be said that the amount of losses from the downtime of the blocked pipe, through which not only gasoline and diesel fuel, but also fuel oil for heating, aviation fuel and other oil products were transported, perhaps, may well cost the company a much larger amount. Colonial Pipeline, which has a length of almost 9 thousand kilometers, runs from Texas in the south to New Jersey in the north. Throughout its length, it provides at least 45% of the various fuel needs of the entire US East Coast.

Moreover, in one and a half dozen of its tank farms, a strategic fuel reserve is stored for a month and a half - about 4 and a half million cubic meters. The annual volume of pumped through the pipeline is estimated at 110 million tons, daily - at 2 million barrels. According to analysts from the United States, its failure will lead to an acute shortage of fuel not only in the East, but in a larger territory of the country. At the same time, we are talking not only about road transport - airports in Atlanta and Charlotte, which are large logistics hubs, will simply "stand up", since they will have nothing to refuel their planes. We can say with good reason that those who carried out this cyberattack hit the Americans where they hurt the most.

In any case, in the United States, it has already been declared "the largest refinery infrastructure in the country in history" and the largest attack on such a structure since 2019, when the largest refinery on the planet in Saudi Arabia was hit by drones. The United States government on Sunday imposed a state of emergency in 18 states at risk, first of all, lifting all restrictions on the transportation of petroleum products by any means of transport, including automobiles. Washington declares its readiness to "do everything possible" to prevent a "fuel hunger" in the country. The White House has created a special interdepartmental working group, which is still working out scenarios of actions for all cases of possible development of the situation, up to the most negative ones. At the time of this writing, Colonial Pipeline has managed to launch several small "branches" of the pipeline going from terminals to delivery points, but its 4 main trunk lines remain inoperative. The operator company declares that it will be possible to speak about the full restoration of activity only when its safety is guaranteed for 100%. Naturally, as long as the system remains under the control of hackers, this is out of the question.

Meanwhile, amid so disturbing News prices for "black gold" began to show growth not even on an all-American, but on a global scale. On the evening of May 10, the cost of June futures on various exchanges rose, on average, by half a percent. However, according to stock market analysts, this process will gain momentum every day, and in a matter of days oil, and so the more expensive can soar in price in a significantly greater proportion. Most interestingly, some have already rushed to call this trend ... the best proof that Russia is behind the attack!

And again these Russians ...

Who benefits from the rise in oil prices? Well, of course, Moscow! This means that this is where the trail of the cyberattack is going! It is this level of "evidence" that is already in full swing in the American media today. Moreover, we are not talking about the “yellow press”, but about rather authoritative, leading publications and TV channels. One of the first, if not the very first, "Russian version" (and on an uncontested basis) was voiced on CNN and NBC News, it was enthusiastically picked up by Bloomberg, as well as The Washington Post - and, as they say, "the province went to write ..." For some unknown reason, the hacker attack is already attributed to the DarkSide group, which was immediately declared "Russian".

Moreover, various "experts" are sophisticated in their discernment, talking about why such a hack is certainly not the most common extortion, of which a great many cybercriminals commit in the world and almost every day, but "a special operation commissioned by the Kremlin." Like, "such actions require too long, careful and expensive preparation costing hundreds of thousands of dollars" to undertake them exclusively with selfish whole. " So after all, the ransom will most likely require not a hundred or two dollars! The most interesting thing is that no one is able to voice intelligible answers about Russia's motives for such a defiant trick - unless, of course, we consider absolutely stupid references to the growth of oil prices as such. No, something sounds, but all this "argumentation" looks like sheer absurdity. "Demonstration of force", "response to the imposition of sanctions", "destabilization of the situation in the United States" ... There is not even a subject for dispute here. What is really worth talking about seriously is about potential stakeholders in the United States itself and their perceived motives.

Most likely, the whole point here is in a possible meeting of the leaders of the two countries at the highest level, talks about which have been going on lately both in Washington and in Moscow. Not so long ago, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that direct dialogue between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin could well be "a good step forward in US-Russian relations and help to de-escalate tensions between states." Doubtful enough, but acceptable. It is very likely that very powerful forces in the US itself categorically do not want anything like this. In the end, the local politicum is far from homogeneous; it contains both more or less sane personalities and figures who cannot be called anything other than "hawks". In their opinion, it is impossible in any case to admit even a hypothetical possibility that the presidents will agree on at least some points. Is there a better reason to disrupt the summit than another "Russian cyber attack"?

The option is simply ideal - the real damage is obvious, and it will be incurred not only by the state, but also by ordinary citizens, which in the best way will prepare the necessary "public opinion". There is no need to prove anything - the notorious “highlighted like” is enough for the eyes, since “Kremlin hackers” have already buzzed everyone in the United States, excuse me, all ears. And Biden himself, as much as he would not want something else, simply will have no choice but to impose new sanctions against Moscow, and even accompanied by the next sharp attacks on it. This is the end of the fairy tale ... There will be no meeting, but there will be a new aggravation of relations, accompanied by those things on which some people can earn a lot of very specific "bonuses" - from the creation of new structures in the army and special services with high command posts, to multibillion-dollar military orders.

However, it is quite possible that the sabotage of the Colonial Pipeline is aimed not at completely blocking the very possibility of negotiations between the leaders of the United States and Russia, but at “strengthening the position” of Mr. Biden during such negotiations. Indeed, if we assume that the presidential summit on the American side is aimed at reaching some agreements that are very important for Washington, then one can come to them in different ways. You can bargain, make mutual concessions, make compromises and, in the end, conclude a mutually beneficial deal. And you can try to "squeeze out" your own, not offer, but demand, speaking in the language of ultimatums and threats. What way of doing business is more common and more familiar to the United States? The answer is obvious. Moreover, the actions undertaken recently by the "world hegemon" are completely contrary to the assumptions about his suddenly awakened peacefulness and readiness to conduct at least a conversation with someone on an equal footing. That there is only one intention to station their own troops on the southern borders of Russia - in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, ostensibly to "fight the Taliban." Previously, they tried to "push" on us only from the West, but now, it seems, they decided to "impose" on us completely. It is in this logic and sequence of actions that the device of large-scale problems at a critical infrastructure facility in the United States with the aim of further using such an incident as an excuse for blackmail and threats, and even real destructive actions against Russia, fits in the most remarkable way.

Russia does not need an attack on the Colonial Pipeline at all - oil prices have been steadily growing lately without it. And in case of emergency, we can demonstrate our strength and determination in much more convincing and much less sophisticated ways. Everything that happens can only be beneficial to those forces that seek to disrupt the normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington. Moreover, at any cost.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. jekasimf Offline jekasimf
    jekasimf (jekasimf) 11 May 2021 11: 05
    Yeah. How to arrange an apocalypse in Venezuela is so possible, but how to get it yourself on the tinsel is so exceptional!
  2. gorenina91 Offline gorenina91
    gorenina91 (Irina) 11 May 2021 11: 11
    Russia does not need an attack on the Colonial Pipeline at all - oil prices have been steadily growing lately without it. And in case of emergency we can demonstrate our strength and determination in much more convincing and much less sophisticated ways. Everything that happens can only be beneficial to those forces that seek to disrupt the normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington. And - at any cost

    - So this is all ... - Turkish agents and "bakhtiars" ... - in order to harm Russia ... and set it up ... - Yes, that's how it is ... - and they try to make a split at any cost. ..
    - That Russian helicopter on the territory of Armenia "bakhtiyars" crashed, allegedly "by mistake" ... - And our guarantor got it all "off hand" for them ... - but now, at the behest of their Turkish masters, Russia has already started in the USA substitute ... - Here they are ... - these "friendly bakhtiars" ... - Since on American territory they have come to this; you can only imagine ... - what are they doing on the territory of Russia ... - But there are so many "Bakhtiarov eateries" (chebureks, shawarma, etc.) in Russian cities ... - just do not count ... think, good people ... - what they can do ... - Oh, good things are unlikely to be done ... - their aspirations are not those ...
    - Hahah ...
    1. Alexndr p Offline Alexndr p
      Alexndr p (Alexander) 12 May 2021 12: 21
      - Hahah ...

      what I think this is something nervous and it is present in all your posts

      But how many different "Bakhtiyar eateries" (chebureks, shawarma, etc.) in Russian cities ... - just do not count ... - Just think, good people ... - what they can do ...

      win in the wine near the shawarma stall?

      And our guarantor got it all off their hands.

      Putin is to blame, and you are in a white coat. Gorenin, I did not even doubt /)
  3. Dan Offline Dan
    Dan (Daniel) 11 May 2021 13: 29
    What manner of doing business is more common and more familiar to the United States?

    I wish common sense would prevail. Vulnerability from hackers is demonstrated not only by developing countries, but also by the "first economies" of the world. Today, the only salvation from them can only be the unification of all significant players in this part of the world economy in the fight against cyber terrorism. This has long been suggested by Putin in numerous meetings and interviews. The United States was the first to reject any possibility of jointly fighting this evil. It would be good for their point of view to change. Then the meeting between Biden and Putin could be called epoch-making. It would be a real breakthrough in the relationship. The inducing by means of the media of a heightened degree of Russophobia, in this context, just works for the terrorists. Perhaps behind this attack are people who, in one way or another, are standing over the media and over the President of the United States.
    1. Igor Lyamin Offline Igor Lyamin
      Igor Lyamin (Igor Lyamin) 12 May 2021 14: 35
      What is the "breakthrough"? Putin will soon spit in the face, but he will still run to meet with Biden, because he is a Westerner and anti-Soviet. Otherwise, it will be devoured by the "Russian elite", which has accounts and houses over the hill.
      1. Alexndr p Offline Alexndr p
        Alexndr p (Alexander) 12 May 2021 14: 50
        Putin soon

        waffles have been spitting in Putin's face for many years, but in the end they only have a stained monitor
      2. shinobi Offline shinobi
        shinobi (Yuri) 13 May 2021 10: 25
        Get drunk and don't read the liberda before bed.
      3. PokerFace Offline PokerFace
        PokerFace (Kirill) 14 May 2021 03: 56
        What are you talking about. Bidon offered to meet a month ago, but Putin still hasn't deigned to answer. Why hurry? He does not need absolutely nothing from a bidoshka.
  4. AntoxaRus Offline AntoxaRus
    AntoxaRus (Anton) 11 May 2021 14: 32
    It is necessary to bang Navalny completely and say that this is the United States, draw a couple of passports in Photoshope and find the names of the Russians funnier to pick up Zhopkin-Popkin, for example, so that it is immediately obvious that the CIA officer is not professional, they benefit from his death in order to impose sanctions ... that's it)
  5. Biden slammed the pipe! He is an old anti-Soviet!
  6. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 12 May 2021 09: 31
    Or maybe it's an Englishwoman who shits? She decided to collect her empire, so maybe she decided to restrain the former American colony, and at the same time blame everything on the Russians and cut the money on this. And they could use it from the territory of Ukraine. They have a whole battalion of hackers there, if the media don't lie.
  7. Vladest Offline Vladest
    Vladest (Vladimir) 12 May 2021 10: 38
    This attack is not fatal, and it teaches more for the future. Americans are good at solving problems quickly.
    1. Alexndr p Offline Alexndr p
      Alexndr p (Alexander) 12 May 2021 12: 31
      Americans are good at solving problems quickly.

      but the Estonians were late for the exercises wassat the quality of your material is not as cool as that of the Americans, you see, not so fast Baltic

      300 Estonian reservists arrived at military training camps held at the Kohtla-Järve base, one week after their completion. This was announced by Minister of Defense Yuri Luik, calling this situation "normal practice."

      “We didn't expect to see all the planned reservists at the training camp on time. In no case should the latecomers be blamed for the lack of patriotism. They came to the training camp, albeit after graduation. And in wartime, such a tactical move could be unexpected for the enemy."- added the minister.

      Why is it so funny for me to laugh at you, dull and inhibited?) The Minister of Defense wins more abruptly than Zelensky. You are just a nation of success. It is necessary to play the first place in success among you and the Ukrainians
      1. Vladest Offline Vladest
        Vladest (Vladimir) 12 May 2021 19: 56
        Estonians have never been fighters. And the quality should be checked by the holes in the Zvezda module on the ISS. The standard of living in Estonia is several times higher than in Russia. at two. And this is more important for the inhabitants of the country than playing with muscles.
        1. Ulysses Offline Ulysses
          Ulysses (Alexey) 12 May 2021 20: 24
          We cannot understand your Estonian humor ..

  8. Ulysses Offline Ulysses
    Ulysses (Alexey) 12 May 2021 20: 47
    The option is simply ideal - the real damage is obvious, and it will be incurred not only by the state, but also by ordinary citizens, which will prepare the necessary "public opinion" in the most excellent way. There is no need to prove anything - the notorious "Hiley Likely" is enough for the eyes, because "Kremlin hackers" everyone in the United States has already, excuse me, buzzed all the ears.

    The country of the victorious "highley like" and unafraid idiots.

    Sorry for Samantha.

  9. Vladest Offline Vladest
    Vladest (Vladimir) 12 May 2021 23: 35
    Quote: Ulysses
    We cannot understand your Estonian humor ..

    A typical troll stamp. On the topic, then at least something we know? I like that to the bulb your antics. It is important for me that someone else besides you will read mine and believe me. Everything I write is easy to check.
    The United States is 23 trillion dollars of GDP (RF 2). and 52% of the intellectual property of the World, (the Russian Federation is only 4%)
  10. shinobi Offline shinobi
    shinobi (Yuri) 13 May 2021 10: 52
    Necropny again dumped everything in one heap. "Russian Hackers" is already a meme that Americans themselves do not perceive without mockery. The truth is most likely more prosaic. Microsoft again messed up with the update, or someone from the operators watched the porn under the fly. Why not the version?
    1. Ulysses Offline Ulysses
      Ulysses (Alexey) 13 May 2021 21: 38
      "Russian Hackers" is already a meme that Americans themselves do not perceive without mockery.

      You underestimate the American hinterland.
      They take it seriously.

      PS Under the "hinterland" should be understood the average American, not much concerned about the foreign policy of the federals, but successfully passed the exam. smile
      1. shinobi Offline shinobi
        shinobi (Yuri) 15 May 2021 00: 45
        Maybe, but does the "hinterland" influence politics? Yes, no?
        1. Ulysses Offline Ulysses
          Ulysses (Alexey) 16 May 2021 02: 02

          But the presence of an external enemy solves a lot of internal problems.

          This applies to any state, including ours. smile
  11. 123 Offline 123
    123 (123) 13 May 2021 15: 16
    Americans hit where it hurts most

    It seems not all, but only supporters and sponsors of Trump. Petrov and Bashirov for the Democrats? winked
    Seriously though, this is an internal showdown and the consequent destruction of the hydrocarbon transportation system. Several tasks are being solved simultaneously.
    1) Electoral fraud proceedings and trials continue, Democrats draw parallels between this incident and election software (SolarWinds), so they deflect accusations by attributing everything to hackers (highly likely Russians), while simultaneously creating a global energy control system, which means industry and all countries as a whole.
    2) Oil and gas workers for Trump, crushing them and destroying the "food base" of the Republicans. In my opinion, there is reason to believe that this oil pipeline may suffer the fate of gas pipelines. Opposition to our SP-2 is not a unique phenomenon, they are doing the same in their own country.
    3) It looks like this is a civil war, which is being waged by economic methods, one part of the elite under the slogans of the struggle for the environment and green energy destroys the economic basis of the other part of the elite without worrying about what will happen to the country. These people will stop at nothing.
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is simply a tool in this fight.
    For those wishing to delve deeper into the problem:
    Briefing at the White House:

    The company HILL is mentioned there, the site has an interesting description of who these people are.

    HILL International is one of Europe's largest HR consulting groups in the search, assessment and development of people and organizations. We are a successful international company with over 40 years of experience.
    We focus on quality and always, methodically and with pleasure, get to the heart of the matter, solving a wide range of tasks in the field of personnel management and organization management.
    We are business psychologists and consultants. Meticulous and inquisitive creators. Attentive and respectful interlocutors. We are also just people, and we love working with people!

    Just look at these meticulous and curious business psychologists and consultants who love working with people. It is they like them who are prohibited from working on the Russian market by a recent decree. laughing

    Here is a little chronicle of the country of abandoned pipelines
    "Association of gas workers", there are some details of the destruction of the pipeline system. First, the companies divide, production separately, transportation separately, sale separately. Doesn't it look like anything? European Energy Charter ... Third Energy Package ...

    Then gas pipelines are closed ... for example, on the Atlantic coast - Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)

    Or they do not allow the completion of another Mountain Valley (MVP), as of June 2020, 92% completed (direct land twin of SP-2 laughing ) the application was submitted in 2015, FERC issued its opinion only in 2017, and construction began in 2018. From the very beginning of the lawsuits, the company does not lose optimism and hopes to complete the construction in the summer of 2022, says that it will be very safe and promises to monitor the situation "25 hours a day." By the way, the length of the pipe is 286,4 miles (460 km), the cost exceeded $ 6.2 billion.

    Map link:

    If there are no gas pipelines, then the issue of production and, of course, sale disappears by itself. You can get it, but what to do with it is not clear. Except to sell on site with self-pickup winked
    In general, good luck to the Americans in this struggle, I hope our agriculture will increase the acreage for corn, and a lot of popcorn will be needed.