Colonial Pipeline Hackers Apologize: We Are ‘Apolitical,’ Will ‘Avoid Social Consequences in the Future’

Image showing the Colonial Pipeline Houston Station facility in Pasadena, Texas (East of Houston) taken on May 10, 2021. - US President Joe Biden said that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States. The FBI …

The criminal hacking group that reportedly goes by the name DarkSide and attacked the largest gasoline pipeline in the United States has now put out an apology of sorts.

The Colonial pipeline, which snakes 5,500 miles along the eastern U.S., transports 2.5 million barrels of gasoline a day, and provides 45 percent of the region’s fuel consumption, was shut down on Friday in response to the hacking.

Vice reported on the hackers’ odd statement posted on the “dark web”:

“We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other our motives,” the statement from the DarkSide ransomware group reads.

The statement did not explicitly point to the Colonial Pipeline incident, but it was titled “About the latest news.” Various outlets have reported that U.S. officials and private industry say DarkSide is behind the ransomware event. Dmitry Smilyanets, a cyber threat intelligence expert from cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, tweeted a screenshot of the statement on Monday. Motherboard verified the statement is available on DarkSide’s dark web site.

“Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society,” the statement continues. The statement also indicated that the group may be making changes to how it operates and chooses targets. “From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”

The hackers locked down Colonial’s computers with ransomware and demanded payment, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with Bloomberg.

In response to the Colonial attack, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an emergency declaration for 17 states and Washington, DC, to keep supply lines open.

Colonial has said the entire pipeline will be up and running again by the end of the week.

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