Colonial Pipeline, the US’s largest gas pipeline company, is now sued for ‘negligence in security after the company suffered a ransomware attack. The plaintiff in question is a North Carolina gas station operator Eddie Darwich who had to suspend his business operations after the pipeline shut down.
Colonial Pipeline runs a network of pipelines all over the east coast. On May 7, an employee in Colonial’s control room found a malware that affected the computerized equipment managing the pipeline. Soon after, the gas supply ran dry across the east coast with many gas station owners suffering heavy losses.
One month after the attack, the US Department of Justice announced that the company was able to retrieve 63.7 of the Bitcoins from the ransom payment.
North Carolina gas station owner Eddie Darwich has now filed suit against the company after having to suspend his operations for over a month. His complaint stated:
“Defendant owed a duty to Plaintiff and the Nationwide Class to exercise reasonable care to safeguard the Pipeline’s critical infrastructure, including protecting it from ransomware attacks, and to safeguard the flow of the product, as a critical resource over which Defendant exercised control.”
The owner complained that the company should have protected the pipeline’s critical infrastructure and fuel supply against powerful cyber attacks, the lack of which led to such circumstances.
This was the second lawsuit issued against the company after the ransomware attack and now another law firm is building up a case as well.
Ransomware attacks are materializing one after another in the United States. Target, an American retail corporation, had to pay $39 million to banks and $10 million to customers after a cyber attack in the system stole the personal data of customers.
Last week, a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on cybersecurity measures. Many pointed out the need for regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges that are in charge of distributing the funds derived from these attacks.