Former NSA hacker argues Russian government connected to Colonial Pipeline attack

David Kennedy, a former National Security Agency hacker, argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin is connected to the actions of DarkSide, the group allegedly behind the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline

The FBI on Monday said DarkSide was behind the ransomware attack that forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline, leading to a disruption of nearly half of the nation’s East Coast fuel supply. Darkside has claimed it’s not political and only wants to make money without causing problems for society. 

The Russian embassy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kennedy told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that he assumes Putin is enjoying the attention while causing issues in the U.S. both from misinformation campaigns and cyberwarfare.

“We are seeing so much hostility coming from a cyber warfare campaign perspective, that it’s almost difficult to even keep up with it,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy explained that he is in favor of not paying the attackers when host Shepard Smith asked what the impact would be if the U.S. government required companies not to pay ransomware attackers. 

“At the end of the day it could have drastic ramifications on businesses, but it would immediately shut off the revenue sources completely, and shut these ransomware groups down,” Kennedy said. “I’m a big advocate of that.”

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