Russia Denies Involvement in U.S. Oil Terminal Hacking, Seeks Dialogue on Global Information Security

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  • 08:26 AM, May 11, 2021
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Russia Denies Involvement in U.S. Oil Terminal Hacking, Seeks Dialogue on Global Information Security
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Russia is advocating a professional dialogue on global information security after its hackers were accused of attacking America’s biggest petroleum pipeline.

The U.S. issued emergency legislation on Sunday after Colonial Pipeline was hit by a ransomware cyber-attack. The pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day - 45% of the East Coast's supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel.

The paralyzing attack kept it shut for three days. Gas stations along the U.S. East Coast are beginning to run out of fuel.

DarkSide, a cyber-criminal gang has claimed responsibility for the attack. "Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society," the group wrote on its website.

A day later, FBI officially confirmed DarkSide’s role.

A number of cyber-security researchers have speculated that the cyber-criminal gang could be Russian, as their software avoids encrypting any computer systems where the language is set as Russian.

Russia Denies Involvement in U.S. Oil Terminal Hacking, Seeks Dialogue on Global Information Security
@U.S. Energy Information Administration

"I'm gonna be meeting with President Putin and so far there is no evidence, based on our intelligence people, that Russia is involved," U.S. President Joe Biden was quoted as saying by reports. "Although, there's evidence that the actors' ransomware is in Russia - they have some responsibility to deal with this."

In a statement, Russian diplomatic mission in Washington said in a Facebook post, “The embassy drew attention to the attempts of a number of media outlets to accuse Russia of a cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline. At the same time, the American authorities blame the incident on the DarkSide criminal group and do not associate it with specific countries.”

"We categorically reject the unfounded fabrications of individual journalists and reiterate that Russia does not conduct ‘malicious’ operations in the virtual space. The Russian Federation has consistently advocated a professional dialogue with the United States on international information security issues," the statement says.

In May 2020, Russia said that the American side can directly contact its National Coordination Center for computer-related incidents. The embassy has claimed now that there have been no requests for assistance from the U.S.

The diplomatic mission recalled that on September 25, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a comprehensive program of measures to restore Russian-American cooperation in the field of international information security.

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