Email Security Blog

Could the Gas Shortage Have Been Prevented?

Six days after the shutdown of Colonial Pipeline, the country’s largest fuel pipeline, the company began restarting it supply lines. The disruption in service was a result of a ransomware attack. The company’s four mainlines had to be shut down while cybersecurity experts and IT professionals investigated the cyberattack and developed a plan to safely bring the company’s systems back online. 

Colonial Pipeline transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel each day to cities throughout the eastern half of the country. It is the primary source of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel for cities on the East Coast. The results of this ransomware attack have been far reaching, and have left the country in a state of panic over the resulting gas shortage.  

Colonial Pipeline is reported to have paid $5 million ransom, in the form of untraceable cryptocurrency, to a group of cybercriminals known as DarkSide.1 Once paid, the hackers shared a decrypting tool designed to restore the disabled computer network, albeit slowly.1 

A cyberattack of this magnitude clearly extends far beyond the walls of the targeted corporation. Aside from the cybersecurity firms that were brought in, Colonial Pipeline also acknowledged the help of The White House, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, FBI, PHMSA, FERC and other federal, state and local agencies.  

The Important of Implementing the Best Phishing Protection Available 

While Colonial Pipeline had been using the services of a third-party email security provider, not all services are created equal. Ransomware is most commonly delivered via a very sophisticated email phishing scam. While all phishing software solutions are designed to stop or disable phish before they are delivered to the inboxes of unsuspecting users, not all have the technology to recognize the most sophisticated hacking techniques.  

INKY incorporates a multitude of highly-developed security solutions to ensure each email that passes through your email platform is analyzed to the fullest extent. This includes computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning, social graphing, behavior profiling, text abnormalities, writing style anomalies, deep link inspection, font inconsistencies, email header analyses, and more.  

The Colonial Pipeline cyberattack could have been prevented if the ransomware was properly identified and quarantined. Sadly, it is another in a series of horrific, damaging cyberattacks and it will take its place in history alongside hundreds of other corporations who have fallen victim to cybercrime.  

 Make the choices today that will keep your company safe tomorrow. Learn more about INKY’s award-winning email security solution and schedule a free demonstration 


INKY® is the emerging hero in the war against phishing. An award-winning cloud-based email security solution, INKY® prevents the most complex phishing threats from disrupting or even immobilizing your company’s day-to-day business operations. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, INKY® is the smartest investment you can make in the security of your organization. INKY® is a proud winner of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge and finalist in the 2020 RSAC Innovation Sandbox Competition. Learn more about INKY® or request an online demonstration today.