Politics Biden: FBI attributed pipeline attack to Russia-based hackers, but not Putin
Oil pipeline builder agrees to halt eminent domain lawsuits
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A company seeking to build a disputed oil pipeline over an aquifer that provides drinking water to 1 million people agreed verbally Tuesday to stop pursuing lawsuits against Tennessee property owners who refused to sell access to their land for construction. Plains All American Pipeline spokesman Brad Leone said the company will put an agreement in writing with the Memphis City Council to set aside lawsuits filed against property owners fighting the Byhalia Connection pipeline. Leone spoke at a council committee meeting in which members discussed a proposed city law making it difficult for the pipeline to be approved and built.
President Biden said a ransomware hack that shuttered the largest U.S. petroleum pipeline between Texas and New York is not attributable to Russian President Vladimir Putin, nor his government, but he intends to call on his counterpart to crack down on cyber criminals.
"We don't believe the Russian government was involved in this attack, but we have strong reason to believe the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia," Biden said speaking from the White House's Roosevelt Room, adding he intends to raise the issue with Putin when they meet.
The White House has been in "direct communication" with Moscow, calling on the Putin government to take action against the attackers.
What is ransomware? Everything you need to know about one of the biggest menaces on the web
Updated: Everything you need to know about ransomware: how it started, why it's booming, how to protect against it.What is ransomware?
"We are working to try to get to a place where we have sort of an international standard that governments knowing that criminal activity is happening from their territory, that we all move on those criminal enterprises," he continued, adding that he expected to discuss the issue with Putin when they next meet.
White House officials say they are working with the Kremlin on a date and host city for the summit, but final plans have not been set.
"I am confident that I read the report of the FBI accurately. They say he was not, the government was not [responsible]," Biden said.
Asked whether he would rule out a retaliatory cyber attack, Biden said, "No."
Biden's remarks come seven days into a crisis that has seen gas prices spike to a seven-year high and fuel shortages across the East Coast. On Wednesday, he signed aaimed at overhauling federal software systems, boosting security standards. The administration has grappled with two recent cyber attacks targeting government software since taking office, the SolarWinds breach by a Russian intelligence unit and an attack by Chinese hackers on some Microsoft email software.
EXPLAINER: Why the Colonial Pipeline hack matters
NEW YORK (AP) — A cyberattack on a critical U.S. pipeline is sending ripple effects across the economy, highlighting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation's aging energy infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel used along the Eastern seaboard, shut down Friday after a ransomware attack by gang of criminal hackers that calls itself DarkSide. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the incident could impact millions of consumers. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2016 file photo vehicles are seen near Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Ala.
Colonial Pipeline's system was taken offline Friday, reportedly after a ransomware hack attacked their billing system. The White House has not said whether the company paid a ransom.
“I have no comment on that,” Biden replied to a question about whether he had been briefed on reports that Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom.
The president also called on lawmakers to pass his sweeping infrastructure proposal, which he said could bolster energy supply.
“This event is providing an urgent reminder of why we need to harden our infrastructure and make it more resilient against all threats, natural and manmade,” he said.
Officials have scrambled to take control of the incident and Biden warned that Americans would not immediately feel the results of a major oil pipeline's return online.
Just days earlier, officials said they were not aware of any shortages.
“At this point in time, I would just reiterate: We don’t see a supply issue,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told the Washington Examiner on Monday.
Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals
HAPPY MONDAY. Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at email@example.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today it's pipelines all the way down as we examine what you need to know about the cyberattack that's haltedToday it's pipelines all the way down as we examine what you need to know about the cyberattack that's halted operations at a pipeline serving 45 percent of people on the East Coast, plus a look at President Biden's conservation plan.
A day later, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urged calm as drivers descended on gas stations up and down the East Coast, prompting a crunch.
“It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage, it’s that we have this supply crunch, and that things will be back to normal soon, and that we’re asking people not to hoard,” Granholm said.
By Wednesday, Republicans began pressing for action.
“We really do need the federal government to step up,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a Republican, tweeted, “America is facing a gas shortage. We need to get the Colonial pipeline back to work, and the Keystone pipeline back to construction.”
Six days into the crunch and hours after Colonial Pipeline announced that it restarted some operations, the White Housea century-old shipping rule that analysts said could help ease the shortage by moving supply from the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Seaboard.
The 101-year-old Jones Act mandates that goods be carried between U.S. ports on ships constructed and registered in the United States, and owned and operated by Americans or permanent residents.
Russia Denies Involvement in Colonial Pipeline Cyber Attack: Kremlin
President Joe Biden said that although U.S. intelligence had found no evidence to link the attack with the Russian government, he believed the country had "some responsibility to deal with" the issue.The pipeline, which stretches more than 5,500 miles and carries 45 percent of the East Coast's supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel, was taken offline over the weekend, disrupting fuel supply across eastern parts of the country and pushing prices up.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement late Wednesday that he hadseeking to transport fuel from the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Seaboard. The pipeline supplies 45% of the fuel to the region.
A White House official said the waiver applied to one tanker but could apply to other requests under review, Bloomberg reported.
By Thursday, gas prices rose to a seven-year high as drivers across the Southeast waited in line for hours to fill their tanks. Gas stations across the region have run out of fuel. In North Carolina, this total reached nearly two-thirds, according to reports.
Officials have asked Americans to be patient.
"This is not like flipping a switch," Granholm told MSNBC on Thursday. "It's a 5,500 mile pipeline."
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Colonial Pipeline paid a $5M ransom – but will that only invite other malware hacks?: 'If the payments stop, the attacks will stop' .
Some cybersecurity experts, afraid Colonial Pipeline's $5M payout to hackers will trigger more malware attacks, are seeking a ban on ransom payments.The critiques stem from a decision by Colonial Pipeline, a gasoline delivery company, to pay more than $5 million for control of its computer system from a criminal syndicate known as Darkside.