US Colonial Pipeline launches restart after six-day shutdown
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.
Thelaunched the restart of its operations Wednesday evening following a caused by a , but the pipeline's operators warned it will take several days for service to return to normal.
"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period," the pipeline company said in a statement.
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.
The Colonial Pipeline will move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel "as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal," the company said.
The restart can't come soon enough. The shutdown sparked panic-buying and hoarding that has overwhelmed gas stations in the Southeast. Ain Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are without fuel, according to GasBuddy, which tracks fuel demand, prices and outages.
The Colonial Pipeline took itself offline Friday after. The 5,500-mile pipeline is responsible for carrying fuel from refineries along the Gulf Coast to New Jersey. It provides nearly half the gasoline and diesel consumed by the East Coast, making it
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.
Oil industry executives warned Wednesday that gas hoarding by Americans during the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline is worsening the supply crunch.
"This situation is now being exacerbated by panic buying and hoarding," Frank Macchiarola, an executive at the American Petroleum Institute, said during a press briefing.
Executives also called on the White House to grant waivers that would allow foreign ships to send fuel to the East Coast to meet skyrocketing demand following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.
The restart should begin to help ease the shortages.
"It means the worst is over in terms of the hysteria that I've called GuzzleGate," Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN Business in an email.
Kloza said the first priority is to restart Line 1, which pumps gasoline from Texas and Louisiana to Greensboro, North Carolina.
Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals
HAPPY MONDAY. Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today it's pipelines all the way down as we examine what you need to know about the cyberattack that's haltedToday it's pipelines all the way down as we examine what you need to know about the cyberattack that's halted operations at a pipeline serving 45 percent of people on the East Coast, plus a look at President Biden's conservation plan.
"The crest of the outages comes perhaps tomorrow or Friday," said Kloza, adding Friday is always the busiest day of the week for gasoline sales.
As the Colonial Pipeline starts to resume service, "our primary focus remains safety," the company said in its Wednesday statement.
"As part of this startup process, Colonial will conduct a comprehensive series of pipeline safety assessments in compliance with all Federal pipeline safety requirements," it said.
The company also expressed thanks to the White House for its "leadership and collaboration," along with the Department of Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other government agencies.
In recent days, Biden administration officials privately voiced frustration with what they see as Colonial Pipeline's weak security protocols and a lack of preparation that could have allowed the ransomware group DarkSide to carry out the attack, officials familiar with the government's initial investigation into the incident.
In the weeks leading up to the attack, Colonial Pipelinea cybersecurity manager.
In the wake of the attack, cybersecurity experts said, Colonial likely took all of its systems offline in order to isolate what the bad actors had accessed and ensure they weren't able to move into other parts of the company's network.
People briefed on the matterthat the company halted operations because its billing system was compromised and they were concerned they wouldn't be able to determine how much to bill customers for fuel they received.
One person familiar with the response said the billing system is central to the unfettered operation of the pipeline. That is part of the reason getting it back up and running has taken time, this person said.
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.