A pipeline in America which pumps fuel across many cities was shut down last week. The pipeline was shut down because some computer hackers hacked their computers and shut down the pipeline.
The computer hackers asked the fuel company ‘Colonial Pipeline’ for $4 million before they would unlock the computer system. When someone steals something, and then asks for money, it’s called ‘asking for ransom’.
Colonial Pipeline decided to pay the ransom of $4 million last week. Experts recommend against paying ransom to hackers, because that might encourage them to do it again. However, the boss of Colonial Pipeline said Americans need their fuel and that he had to pay the ransom.
The computer hackers said they just want to make money and they don’t want to cause fuel shortages. They said they are not connected to any government.
Pipeline – A pipe which carries fuel or gas or water.
Pump (verb) – The verb for pushing liquid or gas through a pipe.
Hacking (verb) – Breaking into a computer. Done by computer hackers.
Ransom – Money paid to criminals to get your property back.
Shortage – A lack of a product.
Encourage – To make someone want to do something.