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Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FBI confirmed in a statement Monday that a professional cybercriminal group called DarkSide was responsible for a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline network, which provides roughly 45% of the fuel used on the East Coast.

The latest: President Biden said at a press briefing that there is no evidence so far to indicate that Russia was involved in the attack, although he plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon. Officials previously said no countries are being blamed for the attack.

Colonial said in a statement at 12:25pm ET on Monday that segments of the pipeline are being brought back online in a "stepwise fashion," with the goal of "substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week."

  • White House officials said at a press briefing that the FBI has been investigating the DarkSide ransomware since October of last year.
  • "It's a ransomware as a service variant, where criminal affiliates conduct attacks and then share the proceeds with the ransomware developers," deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger said.

Worth noting: Neuberger would not answer whether Colonial has paid a ransom, telling reporters that they are a private company and that the White House will defer those "very difficult" decisions to them. She added that the administration has not offered Colonial any further advice.

The big picture: Colonial is the largest refined fuel pipeline network in the country, transporting over 100 million gallons per day. It has been out of operation since Friday as a result of the hack, raising fears of a surge in fuel prices.

  • The FBI said it would continue to work closely with Colonial and government partners on the investigation. "Right now, there is not a supply shortage," said White House homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
  • Energy analyst Amy Myers Jaffe told Politico that the hack is "the most significant, successful attack on energy infrastructure we know of in the United States."

What they're saying: DarkSide posted the following statement to its website on Monday, according to CNBC:

“We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for our motives. Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”

Go deeper

Updated May 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Ransomware attack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of a ransomware attack, Colonial Pipeline said Saturday.

Why it matters: It's a significant breach of critical infrastructure and comes on the heels of multiple other major cyberattacks on both U.S. companies and the federal government.

Emergency declaration issued in 17 states and D.C. over fuel pipeline cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration said it's "working with" fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline to try and restart operations after a ransomware attack took it offline.

Why it matters: Friday night's cyberattack is "the most significant, successful attack on energy infrastructure" known to have occurred in the U.S., notes energy researcher Amy Myers Jaffe, per Politico.

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.