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US Far from Colonial Pipeline, panic buying leaves Florida cities short of gas

01:25  14 may  2021
01:25  14 may  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

  Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is working with the Georgia-based company that shut down a major pipeline transporting fuel across the East Coast after a ransomware attack, the White House says. The government is planning for various scenarios and working with state and local authorities on measures to mitigate any potential supply issues, officials said Saturday. The attack is unlikely to affect gasoline supply and prices unless it leads to a prolonged shutdown, experts said. Colonial Pipeline did not say what was demanded or who made the demand.

In Tampa, Florida , a third of the city 's gas stations were out of fuel on Thursday. In Miami, outages stood at nearly 40% and growing as residents rapidly filled up their tanks in response to a temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline . The outages would make sense if the largest U.S. gasoline Even as Colonial has begun to restart pipeline operations, panic buying of gasoline in the days following the outage has led to fuel hoarding and skirmishes at the pump even in regions far from the pipeline . One of those regions - South Florida - is seeing the worst outages among areas not directly impacted

Panic - buying takes the Colonial Pipeline hack from inconvenience to disaster. Liam Denning tried to warn you not to panic about gasoline shortages while the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by a ransomware Japan has been downsizing for a while now, and it’s far from a dystopian hellscape.

By Laila Kearney

a man riding on the back of a truck: FILE PHOTO: Cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline © Reuters/OCTAVIO JONES FILE PHOTO: Cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline

(Reuters) - In Tampa, Florida, a third of the city's gas stations were out of fuel on Thursday. In Miami, outages stood at nearly 40% and growing as residents rapidly filled up their tanks in response to a temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

The outages would make sense if the largest U.S. gasoline pipeline, which shut for six days after a cyberattack, served those cities. But it does not.

Even as Colonial has begun to restart pipeline operations, panic buying of gasoline in the days following the outage has led to fuel hoarding and skirmishes at the pump even in regions far from the pipeline. One of those regions - South Florida - is seeing the worst outages among areas not directly impacted by the line closure.

What we know about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack

  What we know about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack What we know about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack. The latest on who is behind it, how it could impact gas prices and more. Colonial Pipeline said on Saturday that it was the victim of a cyberattack involving ransomware and had "proactively" halted all pipeline operations as a result. The 5,500-mile pipeline system transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to its website, and runs from Texas to New Jersey.

Colonial Pipeline shutdown left long lines of motorists waiting at gas stations in Virginia, Florida , North Carolina and Georgia. Tom Kloza, an analyst with S&P, said a lot of the shortages are happening because gas stations are "selling three or four times as much gasoline that they normally sell in a given day, because people do panic ." "It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy," he said. To ease brief shortages, the White House is considering temporarily waiving a law that says ships delivering products between U.S. ports must be built and manned by Americans.

Lines have formed outside of gas stations. Officials have warned against filling plastic bags with gasoline . Some gas stations have limited purchases and asked customers not to panic . A cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline has temporarily disrupted the transportation of fuel in the Southeast Kloza said outages at more than 10,000 gas stations are spreading “like a bad rash” on the East Coast. Much of the problem is people are buying gasoline at twice the normal rate in the Florida peninsula, as well as in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Where to find gas : GasBuddy back online after outage as drivers

FILE PHOTO: Cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline © Reuters/OCTAVIO JONES FILE PHOTO: Cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline

"If you want a perfect case for where hoarding has made the situation what it is, that's southern Florida," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "They should not be having any issues at all - they get gasoline from a barge."

Statewide, about a third of gas stations are out of product, according to GasBuddy. Northern parts of Florida, including Tallahassee, Gainesville and Pensacola, are served by the Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Texas to the U.S. Northeast and passes north of the state's borders.

South of that, gasoline is delivered primarily on vessels by sea. Yet some of the southern cities have more stations out of gasoline than those in the north.

Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids

  Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.The nation's oil and gas sector was left reeling from a ransomware attack late last week that caused Colonial Pipeline to shut down operations that provide around 45 percent of the East Coast's oil.

On Friday, Colonial Pipeline , which transfers gasoline and jet fuel from Texas to New York, said it shuttered thousands of kilometers of pipeline network in an attempt to contain a security breach. Major cities have reported large numbers of gas stations without gas and long lines at stations still in service. On Wednesday, the average US price of gasoline broke above a gallon for the first time in 6½ years. Drivers fearing gasoline shortages are resorting to panic buying , with Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, saying, “This is the worst panic buying

In the United States, the major Colonial Pipeline network, shut down due to a cyberattack, is back open. But the five-day shutdown pushed a wave of panic - buying of gas , with lines of cars waiting at stations to fill up and the situation could take days to go back to normal.

"The Colonial Pipeline supplies parts of Florida, but we are seeing runs on product well south of there," Jeff Lenard, with the National Association of Convenience Stores, said on a call this week.

Across areas affected by the outage, Lenard said, fuel demand has multiplied in the past few days from the daily average of about 5,300 gallons per station at convenience stores, where U.S. drivers purchase more than 80% of their gasoline.

As of Thursday, 27% of the city of Tampa's fuel stations ran dry, according to GasBuddy data. In Miami, the southern tip of the state, drivers kept fueling up even after an announcement late Wednesday that the pipeline would begin to resume operations.

Outages have climbed from 2% in Miami at noon on Wednesday to 38% Thursday morning, according to GasBuddy, as drivers filled up their tanks, containers and even plastic bags to store fuel supplies.

"Every gas station I passed on the way home from work was packed to the gills, all pumps occupied with cars waiting behind them in lines - bizarre," said Don Bryan, a Fort Lauderdale resident who has a 20 minute daily commute through Pompano Beach into Deerfield Beach.

The only stations without long lines were the ones that had already run out of gas, he added.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Simon Webb and David Gregorio)

Colonial Pipeline paid a $5M ransom – but will that only invite other malware hacks?: 'If the payments stop, the attacks will stop' .
Some cybersecurity experts, afraid Colonial Pipeline's $5M payout to hackers will trigger more malware attacks, are seeking a ban on ransom payments.The critiques stem from a decision by Colonial Pipeline, a gasoline delivery company, to pay more than $5 million for control of its computer system from a criminal syndicate known as Darkside.

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