Cyberattack-hit top US pipeline network Colonial Pipeline said on Monday that it had begun phased restart of a giant US gasoline pipeline. The company said it hoped to restore operations by the end of the week.
The pipeline company said operations were being “brought back online in a stepwise fashion” after Saturday’s complete shutdown due to a cyberattack.
While “the situation remains fluid and continues to evolve,” the company said it has a goal of “substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”
The affected pipeline ships gasoline and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the populous East Coast through 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of conduit, serving 50 million consumers.
Just a few days ago Colonial Pipeline operations were crippled due to a cyberattack. It was a ransomware attack. Such an attack encrypts computer systems and seeks to extract payment.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified DarkSide as the group which produced the ransomware used in the attack.
DarkSide is an enigmatic group that surfaced last year with its corporate-style approach to inserting itself into a target’s computers, locking them up and demanding payment in exchange for supplying the tools to digitally unfreeze them.
The shutdown raised fears gasoline prices could shoot up ahead of the Memorial Day holiday May 31, but oil and gasoline prices were little changed near 1710 GMT.
(With inputs from agencies)