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US petrol pipeline hit by ransom-ware attack: Report

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The pipeline is responsible for carrying nearly half the petrol of America's East Coast, according to reports.

US petrol pipeline hit by ransom-ware attack: Report

The Colonial Pipeline in the US had to close its network recently due to a ransom-ware attack, said the company in a statement. The pipeline is responsible for carrying nearly half the petrol of America's East Coast, according to reports.

The company closed off 5,000 miles (8,046 km) of pipeline that carry petrol, jet fuel and kerosene from Texas to the New York area. The pipeline carries 100 million gallons ( 37,85,41,178 litres) of refined fuel each day, which makes up to about 45 percent of all the fuel used on the East Coast, a Forbes report mentioned.

"At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation,” the company said in a statement, according to an ABCNews report.

A ransom attack is a type of cyber security attack in which hackers threaten to damage the company in some way unless they're paid a ransom.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline is just the latest in an increasing line of cyber-attack victims.

These attacks do not discriminate between private or state actors either. Just days before the Colonial attack, information about attacks on police departments in the US capitol were revealed, along with the Illinois State Attorney General's office and against a Californian healthcare facility where patient's procedures were cancelled and emergency cases were diverted to other hospitals.

Last month, Apple was targeted by an unprecedented ransom-ware attack that demanded $50 million from the American tech giant. The attacking group, REvil, had stolen data and schematics about unreleased Apple products.

Last year also saw one of the largest information hacks when information systems company SolarWinds, which counted various government agencies amongst its users and multiple Fortune 500 companies.

US agencies like the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Treasury were affected.

Private companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, and Deloitte, and other organizations like the California Department of State Hospitals, and Kent State University, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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