Ex-CEO of Russian security company suspects CIA involvement in Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

Moscow/Washington: Former chief of a Russian cybersecurity company has made a sensational claim. She said intelligence agency CIA could be responsible for the cyberattack on US oil company Colonial Pipeline. Natalya Kaspersky, the founder and former CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, made the claim in an interview. UMBRAGE, a hacker group, created by US intelligence agency, CIA, may have carried out the ‘Colonial Pipeline’ cyberattack, said Natalya Kaspersky.    


On Friday, during an interview with the Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, Kaspersky dismissed the claims of ‘Colonial cyberattack’ originating from Russia. “US intel agency, CIA has created a hacker group named UMBRAGE. The group can masquerade as overseas hacking groups. It is adept at hiding its online footprints after a cyberattack. Also, it can operate just like hackers from North Korea, China and Iran,” claimed Natalya Kaspersky, the former CEO of Kaspersky Lab.    

This is the first time the CIA is being accused of cyberattacking the US network. In 2017, the information about the group was disclosed via WikiLeaks documents. Moreover, at the time, the US media had claimed that this group could carry out cyberattacks that appear just as Russian hackers.    

Last Friday, Colonial Pipeline was targeted with a Ransomware attack. The company had shut down its pipeline and fuel supply completely after this cyberattack. The Russian hacker group, DarkSide was revealed to be responsible for this attack. Besides, according to reports, the company paid them a ransom worth $5 million. Against this background, the claim by the former chief of the Russian cybersecurity firm draws much attention.    

Meanwhile, even though the company has claimed resuming its routine operations, many cities in the United States have faced fuel shortage. A local website reported the capital city, Washington, ran out of fuel. Besides, a few states alongside Virginia are facing a rise in fuel price; the gas stations there are crowded with long queues.    

Against the background of Colonial cyberattack, the Republican Party has slammed US President Joe Biden over the policies on energy. US Republican Party leader Steve Scalise accused Biden of ‘destroying the US economy with his policies. Scalise further said that the United States might have to import fuel in the days to come.    

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