Colonial Pipeline resumes normal operations after hack, but many gas stations still face shortages
By Emma Newberger | CNBC.com
Colonial Pipeline is now delivering millions of gallons of fuel each hour after a ransomware attack forced the company to shut its network last Friday.
However, there are still widespread fuel shortages in several states.
The cyberattack forced the company to shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, triggering widespread fuel shortages in the Southeast and panic buying.
A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told NBC News on Thursday that Colonial paid almost $5 million as a ransom to the cybercriminals
Colonial Pipeline has returned its entire system to normal operations and is delivering millions of gallons of fuel each hour after a ransomware attack forced the company to shut its network last Friday.
The company said Saturday that its pipeline is now servicing all markets, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
However, there are still widespread fuel shortages in many of those markets. In Washington, the nation’s capital, 80% of gas stations are without fuel, according to the latest data from GasBuddy. In North Carolina 63% of stations are short, in Georgia and South Carolina more than 40%, and in Virginia 38%.
The cyberattack had forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline and triggered widespread fuel shortages in the Southeast and panic buying in some states.
Colonial carries nearly half of the fuel supply on the East Coast, including gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil and jet fuel. Colonial restarted operations around 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday but warned that the pipeline would not be fully functional immediately.
The Department of Energy led the federal response to the attack — which was carried out by a cyber criminal group known as DarkSide — in coordination with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.
Colonial said it will invest in the necessary resources to maintain safe and reliable pipeline operations.
“Since this incident began, we have been clear that our focus was on the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system,” Colonial said in a tweet. “That is what we have achieved through the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members.”
“Our team members across the pipeline worked safely and tirelessly around the clock to get our lines up and running, and we are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times,” the company said.