Washington/Moscow : The US investigation agency has declared that an organisation named ‘Darkside’ had carried out the cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline, the most extensive fuel pipeline in the United States. According to cyber security companies and experts, this company is linked with Russia and involved in cyber crimes. Despite that, US President Joe Biden surprised everyone with his announcement that there was no evidence of Russia involvement in the cyber attack.
President Biden clarified his stand on the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack during a press conference at the White House on Monday. ‘The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline is a Ransomware attack. It’s a criminal act, obviously. We have efforts underway with the FBI and Department of Justice to disrupt and prosecute ransomware criminals. International criminals are involved in the incident, and the United States has initiated efforts on the international level,’ President Biden said.
When asked if there was a Russian hand in the cyberattack, President Biden said, “So far, according to FBI, there is no evidence that Russia is involved, though there is evidence that the actors, ransomware, is in Russia. They have some responsibility to deal with this.” Biden also said he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue during their meeting.
A statement of this kind is surprising, especially since the FBI announcement stated Darkside is involved in the attack. As per the cyber security companies and experts, the group Darkside is linked to Russia. The group has never targeted any Russian company in its attacks. This group is run from Russia’s neighbouring countries and is suspected that it is encouraged by Russia.
Major cyber attacks were launched on government agencies and private companies in the United States last year. The US administration had informed that Russia and China were behind the attacks. Orders for retaliatory attacks against Russia also had been issued. Furthermore, since he took over as president, Biden indicated adopting an aggressive policy against Russia and also took decisions in that direction. Therefore, President Biden’s statement pointing towards no Russian involvement is baffling.
The Colonial Pipeline, spreading from New Jersey to Texas in the eastern United States, was subjected to a cyber attack on Friday. The pipeline network was shut down as a precautionary measure following the attack. The nearly 9,000-km-long pipeline carries about 2.3 million barrels of oil per day. Thus, the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline is seen as the biggest cyber attack on the US fuel sector.