Energy & Environment

Colonial Pipeline says it’s returned to ‘normal operations’ after cyber attack

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Fuel holding tanks are seen at Colonial Pipeline’s Linden Junction Tank Farm on May 10, 2021 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Alpharetta, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which has the largest fuel pipeline, was forced to shut down its oil and gas pipeline system on Friday after a ransomware attack that has slowed down the transportation of oil…

Colonial Pipeline said Saturday that it has returned its systems to “normal operations” following the ransomware attack last week that forced the major pipeline to shut down.

The company said on Twitter that it’s delivering millions of gallons per hour to the markets it serves — including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Colonial initiated the restart on Wednesday, and said Thursday that it began delivering product to all of its markets. The company anticipated “several days” before supply chains returned to normal after the pipeline shutdown led to gas shortages and panic buying.

The company delivers approximately 100 million gallons of fuel per day and about 36 billion gallons per year to the markets it serves.

President Biden warned against panic buying on Thursday while the supply chain gets restored.

“We expect the situation to begin to improve by the weekend and into early next week and gasoline supply is coming back online,” he said. “Panic-buying will only slow the process.”

Colonial was forced to shut down operations last Friday after a cyberattack crippled its energy infrastructure. The FBI later confirmed that the cyber criminal gang DarkSide, based in Eastern Europe, was behind the attack.

The company reportedly had no plans to pay the ransom, but Bloomberg News reported that the company paid close to $5 million in ransom within hours of the attack. The White House declined to confirm any payment.

Colonial has declined to comment on whether it paid the ransom. 

Meanwhile, DarkSide is shutting down its own operation after losing access to a public part of its infrastructure due to law enforcement disruptions, as well as “pressure from the U.S.”

Colonial on Saturday thanked the White House, Department of Energy, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security for helping it resolve the hack.

“We would like to thank @WhiteHouse for their leadership and collaboration throughout this process, as well as @Energy, [Department of Transportation], @FBI, [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, [Federal Energy Regulation Commission], @DHSGov, and other federal, state and local agencies for their ongoing support.” 

“Since this incident began, we have been clear that our focus was on the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system. That is what we have achieved through the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members,” the company said.

Updated: 12:41 p.m.

Tags Colonial Pipeline Colonial Pipeline hack Joe Biden
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