Colonial Pipeline cyber attack puts online security issues front and center

Posted at 4:27 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 19:29:33-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.- Right now, cybercriminals may be trying to hack your personal information as they've done to the Colonial Pipeline which has caused major problems at the pumps.

Cybercriminals are the new wave of organized crime and use the internet to commit their crimes.

“These are highly skilled hackers that are grouping together to make money,” said Gregg Tennefoss, a professor at Tidewater Community College and an expert in cybersecurity.

The cybercriminals are trying to make money by encrypting files on a victim’s computer or server, making them unusable, then demanding a ransom to fix the problem, according to the FBI.

Colonial Pipeline was attacked by cybercriminals a few days ago.

They are a major supplier of fuel too much of the East Coast and were forced to halt operations when they got hacked by a group of Russian cybercriminals called Darkside.

This has caused chaos at gas pumps in many different cities.

Just last week, days before this recent attack, the cybersecurity crisis in the country was the focus of testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security.

“The last several years alone show that cybercriminals are not only getting better, they are diversifying, and they are specializing and getting more brazen, to put it simply we are on the cusp of a global digital pandemic,” said Chris Krebs, the former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for Homeland Security. “The underlying enabling factors of this cybercrime explosion are rooted in the digital dumpster fire in our seemingly pathological need to connect everything to the internet, combined with how hard it is to secure what we connect.”

“This is a wake-up call and I think the federal government needs put even more emphasis on securing this stuff, imagine if the electric grid went down,” said Tennefoss. “I'm sure the government is throwing everything they have to fix this, at the same time, they’ve got throw everything they have at it to try to prevent it from happening in the other of the sectors,” said Tennefoss.

For the latest information from the FBI,click here.