Cyberattack on U.S. pipeline could affect Mississippi gas prices


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The prices for gas and airline tickets could go up after a cyberattack shutdown a vital U.S. pipeline. The shutdown stretched into its fourth day on Monday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the ransomware gang responsible as DarkSide.

“This is an example of the vulnerability that exists within our national infrastructure,” said Luke Koestler, CEO and chief developer at Seventh Knight, Inc.

The Colonial Pipeline runs through Collins, Mississippi. Koestler said adding an extra layer of protection does not hurt in the wake of recent attacks on U.S. infrastructure.

“It seems like most infections, a foreign national that basically runs this as a business. You’re generally going to get hit again within the first year by the same group once they’ve infiltrated your network.”

Koestler and his team partnered with the computer company IBM on a product called AppMoat360, which specifically addresses ransomware within large organizations.

“We’ve been able, so far, to prevent a recurring ransomware infection. Generally within the first year of a ransomware incident after it’s cleaned, the customer will end up with an additional ransomware infection two to three times.”

According to experts, cybersecurity attacks are more common and most do not get reported.

In the meantime, drivers are advised not to panic buy. Colonial Pipeline plans to have service restored by the end of the week.

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