Criminal group believed to be behind Colonial Pipeline cyberattack; major concerns about fuel supply
The Colonial Pipeline Company was the victim of a cybersecurity attack Friday in an incident that involved ransomware.
The company, which is responsible for the country’s largest fuel pipeline, immediately halted operations which affected the transportation of oil to the eastern United States and beyond.
The FBI says the “Darkside” ransomware group is responsible for the compromise. The U.S. government also issued a rare emergency declaration after the cyberattack.
Thanks to the declaration, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is now working to create more flexibility for motor carriers and drivers. FMCSA is issuing a temporary hours of service exemption that applies to those transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products to Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Below is the latest statement from The Colonial Pipeline Company:
Colonial Pipeline continues to dedicate vast resources to restoring pipeline operations quickly and safely. Segments of our pipeline are being brought back online in a stepwise fashion, in compliance with relevant federal regulations and in close consultation with the Department of Energy, which is leading and coordinating the Federal Government’s response.
Restoring our network to normal operations is a process that requires the diligent remediation of our systems, and this takes time. In response to the cybersecurity attack on our system, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. To restore service, we must work to ensure that each of these systems can be brought back online safely.
While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach. This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week. The Company will provide updates as restoration efforts progress.
We continue to evaluate product inventory in storage tanks at our facilities and others along our system and are working with our shippers to move this product to terminals for local delivery. Actions taken by the Federal Government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint should help alleviate local supply disruptions and we thank our government partners for their assistance in resolving this matter.
Our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience of the traveling public and the support we have received from the Federal Government and our peers throughout the industry.
After giving remarks on the economy Monday, President Joe Biden said there’s ‘no evidence’ Russia was behind the attack.
BREAKING: Pres. Biden says "no evidence" Russia behind Colonial Pipeline attack.
"Although, there's evidence the actor's ransomware is in Russia. They have some responsibility to deal with this." pic.twitter.com/8jcqIk8dH3
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 10, 2021
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