Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline operator in the United States, was forced to shut down its pipeline network after a cyber attack. Colonial Pipeline said today that it has resumed full normal operations, easing some of the concerns, but not immediately ending the gasoline shortage affecting the eastern states.
“Colonial Pipeline announced late on the 13th that the shutdown pipeline system has restarted operations, but also said that it may take several days for the supply chain to return to normal.
But the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline tweeted today that it has resumed full normal operations, “delivering millions of gallons per hour to the markets we serve.
Authorities in Washington believe that Darkside, a cybercrime group based in Russia, targeted the Colonial Pipeline to launch a ransomware attack.
The computer server used by Darkside was shut down by unidentified persons on the 14th. The information security company “Recorded Future” (Recorded Future) said that Darkside had admitted in a web posting that it was unable to connect to the blog and a specific server for paid use. But it was only after receiving a $5 million ransom payment from the Colonial Pipeline that the situation came to a head.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said on CNN that U.S. officials have likely put intense pressure on Russian leaders to shut down the hacker group.
A brief network shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline triggered a panic rush, with panicked car drivers seen lining up in front of gas stations everywhere from Florida to Maryland. The surge in demand caused the national average gasoline price to soar above $3 a gallon for the first time since late 2014.
GasBuddy, a gas price tracking website, said 81 percent of Washington, D.C., gas stations are still short of gas today, although the situation has been much better in several eastern states.
Colonial Pipeline is the largest fuel pipeline operator in the United States, transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other oil products from Texas Gulf Coast refineries to the U.S. East Coast through its pipelines, serving 50 million consumers.