Hacking group targets another pipeline company
(Photo : Sora Shimazaki from Pexels)

Hacker successfully leaked 70GB of public data from LineStart Integrity Services on the dark web, and we need to talk more about it. The recent hacking attack on Colonial Pipeline has been shaken up the world because of the dangers hackers could bring forth.

It seems like a ransomware group also attacked another pipeline-focused company around the same time as Colonial Pipeline. However, their operation was so professionally done that nobody knew about it until now.

The hacking group was able to leak a total of 70GB of the company's internal files on one of the most profound areas of the internet: the dark web.

Hacker vs. LineStart Integrity Services

hacking group referred to as "Xing Team" posted on their dark web website a total of 70GB of internal data stolen from LineStar Integrity Services.

The company is based in Houston, and they are known for selling, auditing, maintenance, compliances, and technology services to various customers within the pipeline industry.

According to Wired, the stolen data was first noticed by WikiLeaks-style transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets -- or DDoSecrets, for short.

It had a total of 73,500 emails, contracts, accounting files, other forms of business documents, 19GB of software data and code, and at least 10GB of human resources files, including scans of employee Social Security cards, and driver's licenses.

Despite having a more negligible impact than the Colonial Pipeline incident, numerous security researchers have warned the public that the leaked data could provide hackers a gateway to increased pipeline hacking. 

Despite DDoSecrets' attempt to control the situation by publishing 37GB of the company's data to its leak website on June 7, unredacted files remain online, as reviewed by Wired.

The news outlet also mentioned that these data may or may not include further information that could trigger other hacking attacks to target pipelines.

Read Also: Cox Media is the Latest Victim of Ransomware Attack, Several Company-Owned TV and Radio Stations Taken Off-Air

'Xing Team' - What You Need to Know

Xing Team is considerably new within the ransomware ecosystem. They are believed to be a Chinese hacking group, but little to no evidence proves that they are from China.

Wired also mentioned that Brett Callow, a ransomware researcher with an antivirus firm Emsisoft, said that despite writing their group's name with a Chinese character, it is hard to confirm whether the group is based in China or not.

He also added that the hacking group gained access to the victim's files using a rebranded version of Mount Locker. 

Their group's work could be another ransomware hacker's stepping stone to access other people's data. Callow also stated that hackers who steal data from a company could create a spearphishing email connecting to another company.

The Hacking Epidemic

According to Emma Best, DdoSecret's cofounder, the republishing of leaked data from ransomware victims is another way to shed light on a company with records of environmental scandals.

For example, Colonial Pipeline's history of leaking 1.2 million gallons of gasoline in North Carolina's nature preserve occurred less than one year before its ransomware attack.

The rise in ransomware and data hacking seems to be a trend of cybercriminals within the dark web. Hackers might be explicitly targeting critical companies.There seems to be a hacking epidemic in the U.S., which could affect the backbone of the American economy.

With more and more companies being attacked, the stakes are steeply getting higher.

Related Article: FBI, AFP Sting - Over 200 Criminals Arrested on 'ANOM,' Here's What You Need to Know

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Written by Fran Sanders

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