Major Fuel Pipeline Network Shuts Down After Cyber Attack

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Colonial Pipeline, one of the top fuel pipeline operators in the United States, was hit by a cyber attack Friday and forced to shut down their entire network, Reuters reported.

The attack was caused by ransomware and was one of the largest disturbances ever reported, according to Reuters. The attack has stoked fears of an increase is gas prices at the pump.

Colonial Pipeline is responsible for approximately half of the country’s fuel supply on the east coast. According to the company’s website, it’s responsible for the daily transport of more than 100 million gallons of gasoline between Houston and New York City. When it became aware of the attack on Friday, the company halted operations, CNN reported.

“In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems,” the company said in a statement. (RELATED: REPORT: Biden Administration To Create Task Force To Address China-Linked Cyber Attack Against Microsoft)

Colonial Pipeline reported the incident to law enforcement and federal agencies, Reuters reported. It also brought in FireEye, a cybersecurity company, to investigate the ransomware attack.

The Department of Energy said it’s monitoring the situation and evaluating any potential impacts pertaining to the country’s energy supply, Reuters reported. The attack comes after an initiative by the Biden administration to enhance the country’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities after an attack on Microsoft email servers in March.

President Joe Biden was informed about the attack on Saturday morning, a White House spokesperson told CNN.
“The federal government is working actively to assess the implications of this incident, avoid disruption to supply, and help the company restore pipeline operations as quickly as possible,” the White House spokesperson said.