May 2021

Colonial announces pipeline restart, says normal service will take ‘several days’


Article courtesy: MSN/NBC News

Kevin Collier

Colonial Pipeline, operator of the largest U.S. fuel pipeline, said Wednesday it is restarting operations after being shut down for five days due to a cyberattack.

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The company shut down its entire operation Friday after its financial computer networks were infected by a Russia-tied hacker gang known as DarkSide, fearing that the hackers could spread to its industrial operations as well.

The shutdown led to widespread gasoline shortages and caused temporary price spikes.

“Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today at approximately 5 p.m. ET,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal.”

Jennifer Granholm, U.S. energy secretary, tweeted that she had spoken to Colonial’s CEO about the restart.

In its statement, the company thanked the White House, FBI and various U.S. agencies for its help in dealing with the attack.

DarkSide is one of a number of hacker gangs that have terrorized American organizations for several years, hacking into private networks and either holding files hostage or threatening to leak sensitive information unless they’re paid a ransom. Other ransomware gangs have attacked schoolshospitals, and police departments in recent months. But by attacking the U.S. gasoline supply, DarkSide in particular quickly caught the nation’s attention.

In remarks Monday, President Joe Biden said that it appeared the group operated in Russia, and though the attack was not directed by the Russian government, “They have some responsibility to deal with this.”