The company is a major US supplier of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined products. It transports around 45% of fuel supplies around the US east coast.
"Colonial Pipeline learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of this issue, a leading third-party cybersecurity firm was brought in to investigate the nature and extent of the incident, which is ongoing," the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, four Eastern European nationals, including two Russians, have pleaded guilty to disseminating malware for cyberattacks on institutions and individuals in the United States.
"Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing "bulletproof hosting" services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States," the statement said.
The statement mentions Aleksandr Grichishkin and Andrei Skvortsov of Russia as well as Aleksandr Skorodumov of Lithuania and Pavel Stassi of Estonia. Each one of them is facing up to 20 years of incarceration. Stassi will be sentenced on June 3, Skorodumov - on June 29, Grichishkin - on July 8, and Skvortsov will be sentenced on September 16 by the Eastern District Court of Michigan.