Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack – Unions Must Protect Their Systems

Photo by Mike Benna on Unsplash

Colonial Pipeline knew it was in trouble early on May 7th, when an employee found a ransom note from hackers on one of their computers. By day’s end, the company’s chief executive officer Joseph Blount came to a difficult conclusion, he was forced to pay the Ransom.

Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline Co authorized the ransom payment of $4.4 million because his executives were unsure of the extent of the damage, and how long it would take to restore the system to normal.  The Colonial Pipeline provides about 45% of the fuel for the East Coast, and Blount decided to pay the ransom, because there was no other option, given the fallout in a shutdown of a pipeline of such critical energy infrastructure. Blount stated that it was the right thing to do for the country.

In return for the payment, made in the form of bitcoin, about 75 in all, according to a person familiar with the matter—the company received a decryption tool to unlock the systems that hackers penetrated. The ransomware attack has been attributed to a criminal gang known as Dark Side, believed to be based in Eastern Europe.

Though the pipeline’s flow of fuel has returned to normal, the impact of the hack hardly ended with the ransom payment. It will take months of restoration work to recover some systems, and will ultimately cost Colonial tens of millions of dollars.  Although not reported in the news, more than likely, Colonial did not have adequate backups.

Union Built PC has been called to help some Unions that have been victims of Ransomware attacks.  The key to a successful outcome in lieu of an attack is to have a reliable and current backup of your data.  We were able to assist those Unions that had adequate backups, but, unfortunately those that did not were forced to pay the ransom.  Do not get caught in this situation, BACKUP!  You must have REDUNDANT current and reliable backups both offsite and in the cloud.  In conjunction with backup, you also must be able to restore data quickly and reliably.

Union Built PC makes this task a no brainer with their “Union Cloud”.  Union Cloud backs up your data daily, and in the event of ransomware or data loss, you can quickly and reliably restore.  Data is safely stored in redundant locations at environmentally secure data centers.

For more information go to https://unionbuiltpc.com/cloud-storage/    or call us at 877-728-6466